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Has remote working emboldened employees to speak out?

Steven Buck, head of People Science, EMEA - Glint

A new report* shows remote work is creating inclusive work experiences. In companies which support remote working, employees feel freer to speak their minds and see their companies as valuing diversity. The survey set out to discover what defines a ‘great work culture’ has radically shifted over the course of the pandemic and found that employees in the best work cultures are happy, and likely to recommend their employer to peers.

According to new data* the people success platform, employers that have committed to supporting remote work appear to be creating more inclusive work experiences.

Looking at aggregated data from millions of employee-engagement survey responses from over 600 companies around the world, Glint’s latest analysis shows that employees at remote work-friendly firms were 14% more likely to agree they feel safe to speak their minds and 9% more likely to report that their leaders value different perspectives, compared to their peers in companies that haven’t enabled remote working.

The analysis used a number of metrics to derive its conclusions, including noting the proportion of remote job adverts companies post on LinkedIn. The study also shows that virtual work creates many circumstances that can bolster employees’ feelings of inclusivity. Virtual work can provide flexibility to people with caregiving responsibilities, bypass location bias, and reduce the amount of time and energy required to conform to biased ‘professionalism’ standards, Glint data reveals.

This matters, as the survey data also highlights the fact that what team members see as defining a great work culture has changed dramatically over the first year of the Covid pandemic—50% of the top 10 drivers in 2020 were not in the top 10 in 2019. Opportunities to learn and grow has emerged as the strongest driver of work culture, shooting up eight positions.

In the first half of 2020, employees’ sense of belonging also started to impact on employee happiness, increasing by a notable 12% to become the second most important driver of a great work culture. This is highly significant, as when lockdown stripped away physical interaction, less tangible drivers of work culture—growth opportunities, belonging, and values—became overnight more important in the workplace.

There’s also a positive uplift for recruitment and retention, as the data shows that employees at organisations with highly rated cultures are 31% more likely to recommend working for their organisation, and 15% more likely to report being happy working there.

Steven Buck, Head of People Science, EMEA, Glint, said: “In many ways remote work has equalised opportunities for employees to be heard and seen. In a virtual-work environment, every meeting looks the same, and each person takes up the same screen real estate, from the CEO to the intern. As organisations re-examine how to foster diversity, inclusion and belonging in the new world of work, early signs indicate they’d do well to build on virtual work and expand habits, programmes and tools that help people bring their authentic selves to work. The way we work changed drastically in 2020. Employees want more from their employers now than just a pay packet. They want to be challenged, they want to work in a space where they can bring their whole selves, and they want leaders to mean what they say and say what they mean.”

*Survey from Glint

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