ManpowerGroup Study “the Great Realizationt”– World of Work: the Paradigm Shift

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Flexibility, Protection, Search for meaning… workers around the world are formulating their aspirations for a changing world of work


The world of work as we used to know it will soon be no more. With the pandemic as a catalyst for profound transformation, 2022 will be a pivotal year for businesses worldwide. Sensing the wind of change, ManpowerGroup met up with 5,000 workers around the world to decipher this shift and help all stakeholders active in the labour market to make the change without further delay. The study “The Great Realization’  reveals 20 trends in the world of work in the future, based on four key themes: employee aspirations, business transformation, talent shortages and the rise of technology. Deciphering.


In 2020, UN Secretary General António Guterres has warned of the upheaval that the world of work would experience as a result of the crisis. We have seen how this revolution has been confirmed and how it requires companies around the world to reinvent themselves without delay. As the study The Great Realization” makes clear, the trends driving the current transformation are not new, but their urgency is unprecedented”. The study provides a better understanding of the changes that need to be made without delay. The objectives to be achieved? Responding to the new expectations of talents to attract and retain them, taking the digital turn and being socially and environmentally responsible.

Our businesses must transform, become more agile, more resilient, more sustainable, more engaged, in an unpredictable and increasingly competitive environment. Our study allows each organisation to confront the 20 trends identified worldwide, and then create a new working charter. What is certain is that there are no ready-made solutions. Listening more closely to individual needs, a willingness to continuously reinvent themselves and a clear vision of the challenges of digital and environmental transitions will help today’s companies to become tomorrow’s leaders,” says Sébastien Delfosse, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup BeLux.


Flexibility is now a must

Unsurprisingly, the survey shows that flexibility is now deeply rooted in the expectations of workers who want to be able to organise the balance between their professional and personal lives with maximum freedom. As hybrid working becomes the norm, the need for flexibility is not restricted to certain categories of workers as in the past but applies to everyone.

The study shows that:

  • 45% of employees want to be able to choose their working hours freely;
  • 36% of employees would like to have more days off;
  • 35% want to be able to choose their place of work easily;
  • Four out of ten people want to choose the days they work remotely and have the flexibility to change these days each week.


Looking for well-being at work and protection

During the pandemic, people also became more aware of their fragility. As a result, they are now looking for better protection in order to build their future with peace of mind. They want employers to show empathy and to care about their well-being, their (mental) health, their financial security as well as their employability.

The study shows that:

  • 49% of workers say they would be willing to change companies for better welfare;
  • Three out of ten employees would like to be able to take more time off to maintain their well-being and mental health;
  • One in four employees give priority to employers who provide benefits such as parental leave or leave for carrs;
  • 81% of the working population want more training, which is crucial as 58% of them will need to acquire new skills to do their job in the world of tomorrow.

Work must be meaningful

Having talked about the need to organise their daily work to achieve a better quality of life, the people interviewed by ManpowerGroup clearly expressed the desire to engage collectively. Indeed, a growing number of workers – who have also shown themselves to be very concerned and motivated by their work – want to find more meaning in their work. More specifically, this translates into a strong societal commitment on the part of companies, also at the environmental level, a commitment carried by the management and leadership. Conversely, if these expectations are not met, staff will not hesitate to resign.

The ManpowerGroup survey shows that:

  • 64% of employees want to contribute to a better society through their work;
  • Two out of three want to work for a company whose values they share;
  • Three out of four workers want to feel motivated and passionate about their work;
  • Seven out of ten think that the work they do is important and want their contributions to be recognised by the management;
  • Seven out ten employees think it is important to work with leaders who are trusted and who people want to follow.

ESG, a triple dimension that is gaining importance in companies’ strategic plans

In an environment marked by global talent shortages – 69% of employers surveyed by ManpowerGroup worldwide (and 83% in Belgium) say they are having difficulty filling their vacancies – companies need to keep up. The transition to new professions, particularly those linked to digital transformation, must not happen at the expense of the values of parity, diversity and sustainable development. The use of new technologies combined with new human resource management policies should be used to reduce inequalities. Expectations and objectives shared by companies around the world. As two out of three companies surveyed state, the path of transformation will be guided by the common thread of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance). It is true for everyone that through these commitments in the years to come, companies must offer solutions that meet the regulations on carbon neutrality but also allow them to improve their societal impact.

The study shows that:

  • Six out of ten companies declare that they have integrated their ESG objectives into their mission and strategic plans;
  • More than a third of companies have already implemented training on diversity and inclusion issues.


The full study ‘The Great Realization’ is availble on the website