ADP Research Institute’s global survey of 32,000 formal and freelance workers in 17 countries shows that confidence in the job market has dropped compared to last year, and Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2003) felt the most. professional life was affected by the pandemic.
Although the majority (86%) of professionals are still optimistic about the next five years in the workplace, this number is lower than the 92% in the previous survey. This decline comes from the fact that 28% report having lost their job, temporarily or permanently, or received partially paid temporary leave. In addition, nearly one worker in four (23%) had to accept a pay cut.
The survey also points out that the impact on job security and optimism is uneven, with younger workers being the most affected. Nearly four in five (78%) Generation Z workers feel that their working lives have been affected, and two in five (39%) reported that they lost their job, were laid off, or suffered a temporary layoff from their employer. As a result, optimism among Generation Z dropped from 93% to 83%, the biggest drop across generations.
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Among Brazilians, there was also a decline in optimism about the workplace over the next five years, but the fluctuation was small compared to the global average, with 86% of workers feeling optimistic, compared to 89% in the previous study.
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Increase in unpaid hours
Unpaid overtime averaged 9.2 hours per week, up from 7.3 hours last year. The number of “free hours” provided to employers is higher among hybrid workers (who divide working time between the office and home).
At the same time, professionals feel they can benefit from flexible work arrangements, a statement made by 67% of them, against 26% before the pandemic. Nearly half (47%) say their managers allow greater flexibility than what is offered in company policy.
And nearly half (46%) of global respondents said they have taken on additional responsibilities at work, either to compensate for colleagues who have lost their jobs – especially when it comes to critical workers (55%) – or to handle the extra workload that the pandemic has created.
In Latin America, the proportion of unpaid extra work has increased significantly, with the region-wide average reaching 6.5 hours per week, against 4.5 before the pandemic.
Compensation and performance
Workers admit that changes in the workplace have provided opportunities to develop new skills or embark on new career paths that they find satisfying or reveal their potential in unforeseen ways.
More than one in four workers (28%) reported having taken on a new role or changed their scope of work due to the loss of jobs in their organization. Again, Generation Z workers had to be the most agile, with more than one in three (36%) changing roles.
The majority of employees were financially rewarded for their commitment, with nearly seven in ten (68%) receiving a pay raise or bonus.
However, the problem of payments affected more than three in five workers (63%), and there is a higher occurrence of delay. Even when compensation is calculated correctly, the lack of alignment between pay schedules and the due date of personal accounts has caused financial problems for a significant proportion of the workforce (24%).
In Latin America, Chilean workers were the most likely to receive a salary increase or a bonus for taking on additional responsibilities or new roles due to job losses due to the pandemic – six out of ten (61%), while in Brazil the percentage was 56%, and in Argentina, 54%. Brazilians were more likely than their peers in other Latin American countries to receive training to deal with changes (42%).
The pandemic has caused 75% of the global workforce to move or plan to change their home, reaching 85% in Generation Z. In addition, one in seven workers (15%) is trying to move into a new sector that believes to be safer in the future.
More than half (54%) of the global workforce say they have been more interested in project work since the beginning of the pandemic, as they believe there are new opportunities to do contract work (35%) or because they have learned new skills they can apply to it. modality (32%).
Older workers are the most open to the idea of moving to contract work (29% of those over 55 and 22% of those aged 45 to 54), followed by Generation Z (19%).
However, the majority of workers (83%) would still opt for permanent and traditional employment instead of contract work, a proportion that remains stable compared to last year.
In Latin America, 3/4 of workers took on more responsibilities or changed roles as a result of job losses due to the pandemic (74%). Most of them felt extremely or well prepared to handle the new tasks, with Argentines indicating the greatest confidence (75%).
Compared to a year ago, demand for freelance work has grown in Latin America (from 19% to 23%) and in Asia Pacific (from 14% to 17%), remaining stable in Europe and decreasing in North America.
The appetite for freelance work in Chile is among the highest in the world, with a quarter (25%) of workers indicating they would choose this model over traditional employment, although this rate has declined by a third (33%) in the last year. Brazil is not far behind, with 23%, compared to 18% in the previous survey.
Two-thirds (67%) of the global workforce said they were forced to balance work and personal life because of the impact of the pandemic, and the study highlighted some specific concerns for women and those with children.
Among working mothers and fathers, 15% reported that they, or someone else in the family, left their jobs voluntarily, a figure that reached 26% among people with children under one year of age.
Half of the respondents (52%) think that the benefits granted to working mothers and fathers by employers will be withdrawn within a year. In this scenario, women are more likely to report difficulties in controlling stress and have more doubts about their job prospects than men.
In addition, women are also less likely to receive salary increases or bonuses when taking on additional responsibilities or changing roles, with North America showing the greatest disparity.
In Latin America, more than six in ten (63%) said the pandemic forced them to make choices or compromises between personal and professional life. In Brazil, Argentina and Chile, balancing work and family needs was the biggest challenge in the pandemic period (22% said this), more than maintaining health (18%), an issue considered the most important globally.