Our site uses cookies to make it work and to help us give you the best possible user experience. By using our site, you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more about cookies and how you can disable them, please read our Cookies statement
You can manage your cookie settings by turning cookies on and off.
Click on the different cookie  headings to find out more about the types of cookies we use on this site and to change your settings. Please be aware that if you choose to turn off  cookies, certain areas of our site may not work and your browsing experience may be impacted.



For further information on how we use cookies, please see our cookies statement.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

(Req)
These cookies are essential for the technical operation of and proper functioning of our site  and enable you to register and login, to easily move around our site, and to access secure areas. Without these cookies our site won't function properly.  

These cookies are required

Marketing Cookies

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal information is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from Dimension Data only.

Performance Cookies

Performance cookies allow us to collect aggregated and anonymous data on how our site is used, such as the number of visitors to our site, how you navigate around and the time spent on our site and also to identify any errors in functionality. These cookies also help us to improve the way our site works by ensuring that you can find what you’re looking for easily, to better understand what you are interested in and to measure the effectiveness of the content of our site. 

Business leaders and employees disagree significantly on future of work, reveals new research from NTT

  •  84% of organizations believe employees prefer remote working – but just 30% of employees would prefer to work from home full time
  • CEOs 41% more likely than operations staff to be satisfied with their organization’s employee experience capabilities
  • 57% of employees will now select an employer based on work/life balance 

Johannesburg, 9 November 2021 – NTT Ltd., a global technology and business solutions provider, Dimension Data’s parent company, releases the 2021 edition of the Global Workplace Report, providing vital insight into the future of work as businesses around the world prepare for a post-pandemic reality. The report finds that business leaders are significantly more satisfied with how they have adjusted to new working norms than their employees are, and points to the need for clearer organizational insight into how employees have re-evaluated what they need from their workplace.

Shared awareness, divergent outlooks

 Conducting 1,146 interviews – of which 150 were from the MEA region – across 23 countries, NTT found near-universal agreement that remote working has introduced difficulties, with 88% of respondents saying that it has challenged organizational performance and 83% saying that it has been challenging for employees. 67% of organizations in MEA, meanwhile, say that employee wellbeing has deteriorated over the course of the pandemic.

Broad awareness of the issue is not always translating into a realistic assessment of organizational capability, however. Compared to operations staff, CEOs are 20 percentage points more likely to believe that their organization is very effective at managing working hours, 28 points more likely to believe that they are effective at preventing burnout, and 41 points more likely to be very satisfied with their organization’s employee experience (EX) capabilities.

This awareness gap mirrors a serious lack of employee confidence, with just 38% saying that their employer fully values their health and wellbeing, and only 23% saying they are very happy working for their employer.

The great work-life reassessment

Underlying the satisfaction gap between employers and employees, the research found a significant degree of diversity in employee attitudes towards their own future working preferences. Voice of the Employee (VoE) data shows that, when offered a choice of at-home, hybrid, or in-office working arrangements, employees are relatively evenly split between the three, at 30%, 30%, and 39%, respectively. 

This finding contradicts the belief, shared by 81% of organizations, that employees prefer remote working. 

“Currently, the narrative is all about remote working – but the reality of employees’ needs is much more complicated, and any failure to accurately assess and respond to that fact presents a serious risk to organizations”, comments Alex Bennett, Global Senior Vice President, GTM Solutions at NTT Ltd. “These are not mild preferences: we found that work-life balance and commute times are now the two biggest factors people look at when deciding where to work, and so performing well on workforce and workplace strategy will be a real competitive advantage.”

The need to lead by EXample

Acting on the basis of a clear view of employees’ outlooks is being made more difficult by a lack of thorough data and insight collection. In terms of data priorities, 58% of businesses report VoE being a top focus, third only to workplace analytics at 67%. In spite of this, however, just 45% of organizations have structured VoE programs, and 42% employ real-time sentiment analysis, compared to  51% utilizing employee surveys.

The research also demonstrated that the application of these kinds of data for improving an organization’s EX needs to go much further than day-to-day quality-of-life improvements; at 40%, a company’s purpose and values is now the third most important factor for choosing where to work. In this area, employees and business leaders are in sync, with 85% agreeing that environment, social and governance (ESG) objectives are at the heart of the organization’s agenda.

 “I would look at this as a call to shift our thinking from being about actions to being about outcomes”, concludes Bennett. “What’s important is not what we do to improve the workplace, but how it actually benefits the workforce – and an organization cannot know that without a mature approach to measuring employees’ sentiment. Surprisingly, two thirds of employees say they’re not yet equipped with all the tools they need to work from home, and just 45% of organizations say they are strongly satisfied that office spaces are ready for hybrid working.

Nonetheless, 80% of organizations are engaged in reshaping their office space over the next 12 months to foster an environment of innovation and social connection. Clearly, there’s an awareness on some level that immature workforce strategies will lead to employee discontent, and that work should be led by what people actually need.”