PwC global survey: More than half of employees think few people will have stable long-term employment in the future

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 25/03/2021 | 15:08

More than half of employees (56%) think few people will have stable long-term employment in the future. Almost half (48%) believe traditional employment won’t be around in the future and that they’ll sell their skills on a short-term basis to those who need them, shows PwC’s “Hopes and fears 2021” survey, conducted among 32,500 employees globally.


“Remote, virtual and collaborative work gained momentum during the pandemic, with advantages such as flexible working hours and mobility. At the same time, the uncertainty that has dominated everyone’s lives for a year has created the perception that the future is unpredictable and dynamic, and that we must be willing to adapt. For some of us, that insecurity increases work-related anxiety, which has already been exacerbated by the recent context”, said Daniel Anghel, Partner and Tax and Legal Services, PwC Romania.

Only one in ten of those who can work remotely want to go back to work at the office on a full-time basis

The survey concludes that remote working will persist post-lockdown. Of those who can work remotely, 72% say they prefer a mixture of in-office and remote working, with only 9% stating they’d like to go back to their traditional work environment on a full-time basis.

“Employers need to rethink the way they work in substance, not just logistically, rewrite human resource policies and create scenarios about who, where, when and how they’ll work, not only to adapt workspaces and tools but also to define the appropriate compensation and benefit packages. In the long run, labor relations will gain new values, and the employee-employer relationship in a permanent job will no longer be the dominant model”, says Oana Munteanu, Director of People & Organization, PwC Romania.

At the same time, 44% of workers globally would agree to let their employer use technology to monitor their performance at work, including by using sensors and wearable devices. However, many (41%) would not go as far as allowing their employers access to their personal data, including social media profiles.


Of the global respondents, 60% are worried that automation is putting many jobs at risk

Reflecting on the fact that the pandemic has accelerated a number of workforce trends, 60% of employees are worried that automation is putting many jobs at risk, with 39% thinking it is likely that their job will be obsolete within five years. People are ready to take their future into their own hands: 77% are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain and 49% would like to set up their own business.


Half of the workforce report missing out on career opportunities or training due to prejudice

The survey also found that 50% of workers say they’ve faced discrimination at work which led to them missing out on career advancement or training. Missing out on opportunities as a result of ethnicity was reported by 13% of workers and 14% report having experienced discrimination on the grounds of gender, with women twice as likely to report gender discrimination as men. Younger people are as likely as older people to report discrimination based on age.

Of workers globally, 75% say they want to work for an organisation that will make a ‘positive contribution to society’. However, economic insecurity is limiting people’s ability to pursue purpose-driven careers, with younger people particularly affected. Overall, 54% of those polled said, if forced to choose, they would prefer a job that enabled them to ‘take every opportunity to maximise their income’ over a job that ‘makes a difference’ (46%).

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