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November 17, 2021

Disconnect Between Leaders and Employees on the Future of Work


The progress made by corporate leaders adjusting to the challenges caused by the pandemic may not be quite as rosy as they think.

A huge disconnect appears to currently exist between the views of executives and those of employees regarding the future of work, according to a new “Global Workplace Report” released by NTT, a global technology company and business solutions provider.

According to the report, the top four strategies companies currently use to adjust to new employee needs include flexible hours, wellness, remote/hybrid work, and an improved work environment.

What employees want most is flexibility, and while they’re more vocal about their wants than ever before, they often don’t feel heard and responded to.

What are the key differences between how leaders and employees view their workplace?

Several key findings from the survey include:

  • Globally, 93.2% of executives believe they have a sustainable workplace critical to attracting and retaining talent. Yet only 23% of employees stated they were “very happy” working for their company. 38% of employees felt their employer values their health and well-being. In addition, 63% of chief human resource officers said they believe that employees’ overall well-being has declined since the pandemic began.
  • When it comes to work arrangements, employees are evenly split in their preference, with 30% desiring at-home, 30% choosing hybrid and 39% favoring in-office.
  • 58% of employees claimed working from home can be difficult. Two-thirds of workers surveyed indicated they don’t possess the tools and technology to effectively work from home, despite 55% of management feeling “strongly satisfied” that their company is ready and able for the hybrid work model.

Given the challenges that workers face from home, it’s no surprise that enhanced technology has been identified as one of the most vital enablers for new workplace strategies.

Are leaders listening?

Core to today’s definition of engagement in this new reality is employees’ feeling heard. The other key components are that people’s well-being is considered and respected, and that solutions are individualized.

We’ve heard a lot about the importance of feeling heard, but its importance can’t be underestimated. Often, leaders think they are hearing employees, yet aren’t doing the consistent work to actually hear them – regular touch points and one-on-ones, and consistent communication channels that are easy to access and navigate, allowing for wants to be understood, and questions to be raised and addressed.

In addition, leaders should be sure that they are regularly evaluating their communication efforts to ensure they’re working effectively for employees, rather than simply assuming that employees are actually being heard.

Then, and only then, I believe the gap we’re seeing today will close.

In what ways are you listening to your employees?

—David Grossman

Helping employees adapt to new ways of working means you may need to lead a little differently, too. Heart First shows you how – click below to learn more and order your copy today!

Click to learn more and order your copy of Heart First by David Grossman

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