Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work

Arguably, the Covid-19 pandemic changed the world of work more radically than any other single event in our working lifetime. But how much of this change will be enduring, where will we see permanent transformation, and how can companies evolve in line with rapidly shifting expectations?

In May 2020, we heard from 8,000 office-based employees, managers and C-suite executives (aged 18-60) across Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK and the USA, to form a clear picture of the new era of work.

This new research report from the Adecco Group, “Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work”, explores how attitudes have changed in this short period of time and provides insights on the gaps that employers need to close to position as an employer of choice in the emerging future era of work.

Key findings

The future is flexible

The world is ready for “hybrid working” as companies and employees call for greater long-term flexibility.

51% office / 49% remote is the optimal model of working.


End of the 9-5 and a more effective way to measure productivity?

Tracking results, not hours, emerges as a clear trend.

69% of employees believe contracts should be based on results rather than hours worked.

Leadership needs reinvention

Emotional intelligence is the new gold standard but leaders are currently not well-equipped.

74% of employees want their managers to demonstrate a leadership style focussed on empathy and a supportive attitude.



Universal appetite for mass upskilling

Accelerated digitisation reinforces the reskilling imperative.

69% of people want more digital upskilling post pandemic.

There’s a new trust equation

Employers have gained trust and workers now expect them to “reset normal” – more than any other institution.

80% of employees believe their employer is the most responsible for ensuring a better working world after the pandemic.


We have been working for years to make the things that now seem new, feel normal.
Throughout the pandemic, 400,000 dedicated Adecco Group associates have worked countless hours to help so many.
These amazing individuals are what inspire us to lead the world into a “better normal” and
reset the world of work – so the future works for everyone.

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About the research

The research surveyed 8,000 white-collar workers across eight countries: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK and the USA. Questions covered how the pandemic had altered people’s way of working and their views around what they wanted for the future.

Download the new global research study

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