I wanted to pick up on a blog post Melanie Green wrote last week following the publication of the Good Work Index 2021.
The survey finds that that job quality has generally remained stable in the past year. Interestingly - though unsurprisingly - Melanie says that the survey findings also suggest that engaging with employees to seek their views on workplace change has been vital for employers through the pandemic.
Peter Cheese also kicked off the Fistival of Work today with a focus on 'Good Work' and how it can and should be a force for good. He writes about this here.
The CIPD’s Good Work Index 2021 shows that job quality still falls short in a number of areas. Issues like lack of work-life balance, lack of development and high workloads are a real cause for concern. And for many, some of these concerns have been exacerbated with the challenges all businesses have faced through the pandemic.
Peter goes on to say that the Good Work Index highlights inequalities and trade-offs in job quality.
We know there are real inequalities in job quality across occupations, with higher managerial and professional roles faring better than those in lower routine and manual roles. The pandemic has exacerbated some of these inequalities and trade-offs, with remote working being a good example.
Our data shows that remote workers (also predominately those in higher occupational groups) tend to fare better on most aspects of job design, such as having autonomy and opportunities to develop their skills. But they struggle with high workload and maintaining work life balance is also challenging (for example 29% of those working from home all the time say they find it difficult to relax in their personal time because of work, compared to 19% of those not working remotely). This was the case before the pandemic, but remote working can create additional workload and work–life balance challenges.
On the flip side, those working in lower occupational groups tend to fare slightly better on workload and maintaining work–life balance, but lack opportunities for skills development and tend to fare worse on other aspects of job design, like autonomy. These occupational groups were less likely to be able to work from home and also more likely to be furloughed and, not surprisingly therefore, also concerned about job security.
Do these findings resonate with your own experience during the pandemic?