Flexible working options and employee wellbeing are now the top priorities for Japanese job seekers as they look to the new era of work, a new report has found.
The Uncovering the DNA of the Future Workplace in Asia report by leading recruitment experts Hays found employee priorities in Japan had changed as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic with flexible working options emerging as a top priority for professionals in the post-pandemic future, and employee wellbeing as the definition of purpose in the new era of work.
Before the pandemic, when asked what they considered to be most important when looking for a new employer, 77% of respondents said salary or benefit package, followed by identifying with company values and culture (51%) and job stability and security (49%).
When asked again what was most important to them, the research shows that more than half of respondents said that salary or benefit package had become less important to them (55%), marking a transformational shift in perspective.
A vast majority of respondents said remote working options had become more important to them (84%), yet a large majority also said the option to work at the physical office had become more important (71%). This indicates that hybrid working models may be the best way forward for organisations as they transition to more digital ways of working and protect against further crises.
The rise in importance of compassionate and engaged management heralds an important shift in Japan’s traditionally strict workplace hierarchies, with 91% of respondents saying that purpose played an important or very important role in motivating their performance.
Before the pandemic, 69% of respondents said that in their opinion, being recognised and rewarded for their contributions is what constituted meaningful work, followed by ‘identifying or agreeing with a company’s values and mission’ (60%) and feeling or seeing the impact of your work on society and the environment (55%).
While these opinions were somewhat reshuffled post-pandemic, employers in Japan have kept pace with employee sentiments
- 67% of employees say being part of an organisation that values employee wellbeing is what defines meaningful work, with 41% of organisations currently providing this.
- 49% of employees want opportunities to use specialised skills that are unique to them, with 44% of organisations currently providing this.
- 45% of employees want to be recognised and rewarded for their contributions, with 50% of organisations currently offering this.
Richard Eardley, Managing Director for Hays Japan, commented, “The rising sentiment in favour of employee wellbeing and flexibility, also an important aspect of work life balance, is unlikely to dissipate in an increasingly volatile world. A workplace of the future will recognise that integrating flexibility and employee wellbeing will not only attract the right talent and inspire purpose, but also protect its most important agents for progress and change – its people.”
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The Uncovering the DNA of the Future Workplace report in Asia is based on findings from two surveys conducted on more than 4,000 and 5,000 respondents respectively across China, Japan, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, and Malaysia. The first survey was concluded in February 2020 with the second having concluded in September 2020. By comparing the two surveys, the findings aim to form an understanding of how the pandemic has altered working sentiments.
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