Enthusiasm for working in a slump? This is what you should do

Feeling a little blah about work right now? We’re not surprised – and you’re certainly not alone. Recent Gallup figures showed that employee engagement in the US fell two percentage points to 32% in early 2022. It’s a 2% year-on-year decline from 2020 and it’s measured on a number of elements, including workers’ agreement on clarity of expectations, their career advancement opportunities and how they feel their opinions count at work.

It’s not hard to see how this is the case after two years of working from home for many former office workers. While many employees found their productivity increased around their actual workload, other aspects of their role became more murky.

For many people, meeting fatigue creeped in as any interaction that used to be a phone call or a quick face-to-face chat turned into a Teams or Zoom conversation. Management expectations, access to resources and equipment, good mentorship guidance, poor general company-wide communication, and that fundamental connection to their organization’s mission or purpose were also lost for many employees.

As companies implement policies to get their teams back in the office — whether that’s solely on-site, or a hybrid mix of a few days at home and a few days in the office — new sentiments are emerging. Hybrid and remote workers report being more engaged than onsite workers, with 37% engagement levels in both groups. That compares to a 29% engagement rate for those who are only on site.

In addition, employee engagement is higher within organizations that focus on culture and well-being. Defined as the overall mental, physical, emotional and economic health of employees, for many people today their work and private lives are mixed. They ask themselves questions they’ve never asked before about work-life balance — and also wonder how happy they are to be back to how it used to be.

Excessive and expensive commutes, extra costs for childcare and family, hobbies and free time lost to travel are all factors that keep satisfaction levels low and force people to want to do their work from home – without all the other things that make their jobs ever packed in.

Smart companies know that the right strategy is to do things differently, Gallup said. The winners of the Exceptional Workplace Award averaged 70% employee engagement, even in 2021. Providing flexible work environments is critical, as is considering how work and life are combined for employees and how to provide resources to respond to them . Other useful factors around communication and management styles are also important.

If your current employer doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to your requirements for the way you want to work, then you’ll probably look elsewhere. Figures from the Pew Research Center showed that of employees who quit their job in 2021, 57% did so because they felt disrespected. 45% said a lack of flexibility in choosing when to put in their hours was the reason for leaving.

The good news is that not all employers are blind to employee concerns. Recently, Airbnb announced that its staff can choose to work where they are “most productive”.

“The response internally was great, but even more impressive [was] the response from the outside because our career page was visited 800,000 times after that announcement,” said Airbnb CEO and founder Brian Chesky.

In addition, the company has said there will be no loss of compensation if staff members work in their home country and its employees can work abroad for up to 90 days a year. Chesky has the right idea, keeps his current staff and attracts the right people. “I don’t think this is a temporary phenomenon. I think the genie is out of the bottle and flexibility is indispensable,” he says.

Make a move

If remote or hybrid working is your preference for the way you want to work, many companies now support it. The VentureBeat Job Board has thousands of open positions and companies with great hiring policies to browse. Check out Robinhood, the app that has pioneered the commission-free trading of stocks, exchange-traded funds and cryptocurrencies.

Or consider Crowdstrike, the Austin-based cybersecurity technology company that provides cloud workload and endpoint security, threat intelligence, and cyber-attack response services. Moneygram is a money transfer app that provides an easier way to send money from the United States, pay bills and more. You can view available functions on the Job Board. Or check out Shopify, the best ecommerce platform trusted by millions of businesses around the world. The open positions are available here. Are you ready to make the transition to a company that cares about your well-being? Then take your first steps by viewing thousands of open vacancies on our Job Board