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International Member Survey on the Future of Work

Has COVID-19 changed work forever?

We asked ICAEW Chartered Accountants around the world to share their views on the future of work, along with the new challenges and opportunities it could bring.

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The word 'WORK' with the letter 'O' substituted for a coronavirus particle.

We're looking forward to getting back to having the office as A place to work, not THE place to work.

Four aspects of working life that warrant particular consideration:

Addressing the needs of new talent

Employee mental health and well-being

Understanding the business

The importance of people interacting

Key findings

  • Compared to pre-pandemic times, most expect working life in their organisation to be different in the future.
  • The pandemic has had a positive impact on remote working, acceleration of digital transformation / automation (which enabled this remote working) and flexible or part-time working. HR policies and support provided by their organisation were helpful in enabling them to work this way.
  • The pandemic has not had a positive impact on employees' well-being and mental health and for many it had a negative impact. Views on HR polices and support provided in this area were more mixed.
  • While it was easier to maintain productivity, maintaining staff morale, building new relationships and engaging new clients was more difficult.
  • When it comes to bringing on board new employees during the pandemic, the top three challenges were: building personal network with the business, adapting to the organisation’s corporate/professional culture and building practical experience.
  • The top operational challenges faced during the pandemic were forecasting and understanding what is going on in business.

Working remotely is working well but staff miss out on relationship building and informal knowledge sharing.

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