2022 Workplace Demands
What employees are demanding from their workplace in 2022
The global pandemic has seen an unprecedented disruption to normal working routines across industries and made employees think more about what they want from a job.
Here at Lensa we have looked at global and US search trends to investigate what employees want from their employers in 2022.
By recording the number of searches for 50 employee benefits across the last 12 months, we can see what people are looking for from their employers both now and in the future.
Trends in employee demands over five years
The following benefits are those that have seen the biggest increases in searches since 2018, showing us how the demands of employees have changed over time.
- Menopause Leave – 1,300% YoY increase
A recent poll found that 18 percent of women currently experiencing menopause or premenopausal symptoms sought to leave their jobs because of these symptoms, and three-quarters felt unable to discuss the issue with their colleagues. Importantly 63% noted their organization had no policy in place for menopause leave, something that is gaining popularity in the workplace.
2. Hybrid Work – 820% increase
Hybrid work is similar to remote work in the sense that it involves working from home. The difference is that employees work both at home and in the office, and can often choose where they work on any given day. Some employers may ask employees to come into the office on certain days, or to spend at least some portion of their time in the office, e.g. at least 25%, but hybrid working allows employees to enjoy some of the benefits of remote work, such as a reduction in commuting and greater flexibility.
3. 4-Day Work Week – 809%
The 4-day work week is a relatively modern concept spawned largely by recent advancements in technology. As yet, the 4-day work week has not seen widespread adoption.
Most Popular Employee Demands, By State
For every state, remote work was the most popular employee benefit over the last year. Remote work allows employees to work from anywhere they choose, and not have to commute to a central place of work.
The following statistic shows the second most popular employee benefit for each state, being either a 4-day work week or employee assistance programs.
The 4-day work week is essentially a reduction in work hours from the standard 40 down to 32, for the same pay and benefits. Employee assistance programs are designed to help employees with personal or workplace issues that are affecting their performance or their mental and physical health.
Most Popular Employee Demands in the US
1. Remote work – 487,600 searches
The pandemic shows a widespread shift to remote work for many employees across many industries. This has led to the revelation that many people can work just as effectively from home. On top of this, people have also noticed the benefits of working from home: comfort, flexibility, reduced commuting time, and being able to spend more time with family. Employees are now asking if remote work can become a new norm, or at least an option.
2. 4-Day Work Week – 192,200 searches
Not only do employees value flexibility when it comes to remote work, but many employees are now suggesting that they can be just as productive working four days a week as they are currently working at five. The pandemic left many employees thinking about what they value in their lives and caused many to rethink their current work-life balance. For many, it is more important than ever to take extra time with friends and loved ones in our unpredictable world.
3. Employee Assistance Programmes – 164,100 searches
Employee assistance programs are confidential services for employees that aim to help them with any issues that might impact their performance or well-being. These programs usually involve assessments and counseling and are delivered at no cost to the employee. By supporting employees through poor mental or physical health, wellbeing issues, or personal issues, employees become happier and healthier and feel valued and supported by their organization.
4. Sign-On Bonus – 139,800 searches
A sign-on bonus is a one-time payment made to a new employee when they first start working at a new company, as an incentive to join that company. Sign-on bonuses are often intended to attract more employees to a given job, making the compensation package for that job more attractive. Sign-on bonuses saw 139,800 searches in the US over the last year.
5. Employee Resource Groups – 84,300 searches
Employee resource groups are groups of employees who join together in their workplace based on shared characteristics or life experiences. ERGs are generally based on providing support, enhancing career development, and contributing to personal development in the work environment.
Global employee demands
1. Remote work – 1,495,000 searches
Remote work was the most searched employee benefit on our list for both the US and the world, with a global search volume of 1,495,000. Employees value flexibility when it comes to work, and Lensa has reported studies that show 80% of employees working full time now expect to work from home on at least three days per week, and one in two won’t return to jobs that don’t offer remote or hybrid work.
2. Smart Office – 505,800 searches
Smart offices refer to those that are high-tech and designed with a human user in mind. The offices aim to improve the overall office space using the best management tools, which in turn aim to make employees work smarter, better, and faster. Recent reports are already speculating that the market for smart offices is set to grow rapidly in the next few years. The benefits of smart offices are not limited to improved productivity and efficiency, but also create better communication between employees, a better employee experience, and attraction and retention of new employees.
3. 4-Day Work Week- 500,900 searches
Both Belgium and Wales have recently opted to trial a 4-day work week, in the hope that companies can be just as effective when employees work fewer hours. This is currently a hotly debated topic, and there is little research done to prove either way. However, the theory is that employees will be more motivated and less worn out working only four days, which will lead to them being more productive.
4. Employee Assistance Programs – 385,200 searches
Anxiety, stress, and depression are mental well-being issues that are becoming increasingly common in employees today. Employees that feel they give everything to their job, going over and above to meet expectations and sacrificing personal lives for their work, also feel that their personal health can often become sidelined. Since 2008 use of employee assistance programs has grown by 68%, showing that employers are becoming more aware of the importance of taking care of their employees both in and out of work.
5. Career Development – 349,200 searches
Career development is where employees make efforts to improve their skills and advance along a career path. Career development is a career-long process, and many employees are now asking that their career development be an interest of their company. Help from the organization concerning their career development is becoming much more sought after by potential employees, and development plans consist of short and long-term goals that help employees plan and work toward their current and future jobs. Organizations assist in these goals by providing training and experience where possible.
The Least-Desired Employee Benefits
The following benefits are those that are searched for by employees, but show the lowest amount of searches.
1. Free Office Coffee – 110 searches
With just 110 annual searches globally, it seems employees don’t care about free coffee, or at least not enough to warrant factoring it in when switching jobs. Free coffee each morning seems not to be as big a benefit as many employers would like.
2. Medical Cash Plans – 1,100 searches
Medical cash plans are insurance policies that help employees with the costs of medical expenses. These plans allow employees to claim common health expenses, such as optical and dental care, consultations, and prescriptions.
3. Performance-Based Bonus – 1,350 searches
Performance-based bonuses are monetary compensations given to employees as rewards for reaching performance goals or identifiers. These are usually awarded after performance evaluations or high-quality work performances.
When asking your organization for workplace benefits, including a raise in salary, it is important to make sure you do it right. Lensa has outlined the best way to ask for benefits.
First, you should make sure it’s the right time for your organization: are they in financial hardship? Do they offer remote work opportunities already? Doing some research on what your company is going through right now and what they already offer their employees is the first step to asking for workplace benefits. Researching what other companies in your space offer is also a good thing to do.
When meeting your employers to discuss benefits, it’s in your interest to create an amicable tone. This can be achieved by being clear about your intentions and offering your employer an opportunity for honest conversation. You are making a request, not a demand, so the way you present this should be amicable.
We browsed platforms such as Linkedin and various websites to get a feel for what workers were looking for from their employers and in the workplace. We then created a list of 50 workplace demands and recorded the annual search data for these keywords from Google Keyword Planner.
Data correct as of 2/03/22.