In 2020, the outbreak of the coronavirus has taken an enormous toll on employees, with people and businesses in Greece forced to operate in new and challenging ways. 

Working from home is now the new normal, and job security has become more important than ever as layoffs continue in many companies.  On the other hand, employees have learnt or must learn to upskill quickly to remain relevant in the newly transformed digital economy. 

In our second edition of the 2020 Workmonitor we found both encouraging signs and a daunting outlook expressed by employees. The survey conducted in fourth quarter 2020 indicates resilience among most respondents, but also concerns about the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and their future. 

In just one year, employers have a larger pool of active job seekers.  Even amongst those employed, there is a concern of being laid off.  Many issues will remain for months to come to the Greek economy as well as the Global economy.    

balancing work and life

Before the outbreak of covid-19, most employees understood and managed the demands of work and life in a predictable way.  The pandemic has completely changed this and we undertook this research to better understand how employees are coping with the challenges of covid-19 both in their work and personal life.  

For a large proportion of Greek employees, the stress of daily commutes and work in the office was traded for expanded family responsibilities and the intrusion of jobs into personal life. Working from home for many families has been both beneficial and stressful.  Working parents were asked to care for children and elderly family members, all while holding down their jobs.  Previously segregated, jobs and family duties were suddenly mixed together to create a long continuous work day.  

For those who could not work from home, the pandemic posed even greater risks.  Many essential workers faced potential infection every time they went to work.  While their contribution was critical - in sectors ranging from healthcare to retail to logistics to home delivery - these employees braved the threat of Covid-19 and allowed markets to continue operating. 

Additionally, all employees with children were also asked to support home-school, placing them in challenging situations and under tremendous stress.  

Whilst most say they feel supported by their employers, many also indicate that they are willing to make concessions to keep their jobs.   63% of the respondents in Greece indicated that they feel emotionally supported by their employer during the pandemic. In fact, 16% of Greek employees questioned stated that they would be willing to work more hours or have logged more work hours without an increase in pay just to keep their job.  Working longer hours is one casualty of working from home.  Another 45% of Greek employees stated that they would have taken, or would take, a different role within the company, if asked to do so.  

attributes of jobs post Covid-19

Whilst job security is undoubtedly important during the pandemic, interestingly our data shows that salary protection was cited as the most important attribute they wanted post Covid-19.  

63% of Greek respondents believe that employers may still have trouble in finding the right talent even during times of higher unemployment.  For sure, many of the skills companies needed before the pandemic are still in high demand, with some talent even more scarce.  Some skills will be especially important in the post Covid-19 economy because of the acceleration of digitalisation.

successfully adapting to the new ways of working

Employees around the world, including in Greece, have adapted to the new ways of working.  It is clear from our research that employees want to spend some time in the office, if not for the social interaction, then for a distraction-free work space. 

In Greece, we found that one arrangement was the most desired during the pandemic:  

An ideal work arrangement  for Greek employees:  

Gender  A combination of working from home
and going into the office
Always working in an office, outside the home Being able to work from home whenever I want Having flexibility to shift my work hours Working from home all the time Working remotely from anywhere as a digital nomad
 female  39.36%  13.61%  14.85%  15.10%  12.13%  4.95%
 male  39.65%  15.91%  10.86%  18.94%  10.10%  4.55%

81% believe they have the equipment and technology needed to adapt to digitalization and at the same time. Only 19% say they are struggling to learn new skills required in this new digital environment. 54% of the respondents agreed that both employer and employee should be joint-responsible for keeping employees’ skills and competencies up to date.

workplace diversity and inclusion

Our workmonitor research shows that 72% of Greek employees feel their company offers an inclusive environment where people with all kinds of differences and disabilities feel welcome and valued for their contributions.  The strongest evidence of this, shown in the research, is through the training provided to employees (41.25%) and creating elements of an inclusive work environment, including being open to and considering other people’s opinions (33.63%)

My company has actively demonstrated being truly inclusive by:

 Building a diverse workforce  20.00%
 Publicizing HR policies on inclusiveness  10.88%
 Having people from diverse backgrounds in leadership positions  23.25%
 Advertising and employer branding  23.63%
 Encouraging employee resource groups  14.38%
 Corporate social responsibility in the form of donations/fundraising  21.50%
 Employee volunteering days  12.25%
 Partnering with non-profit organizations  15.88%
 Creating elements of an inclusive work environment and workspace, including being open to and considering other people’s opinions  33.63%
 Employee training  41.25%

 

Randstad workmonitor recurring observations  

2020 has been an extremely challenging period, some say the most difficult in their lifetime and it is something hard to dispute.  At the same time, the resilience of people, whether overcoming their fears when reporting to work on time or balancing parting duties against ethe needs of their jobs, demonstrates that even in these unprecedented times, society and markets are coping and innovating to meet the needs of people.    Surprisingly in the current research we found very little shift in the behaviours below due to the pandemic. 

job satisfaction

According to the current survey findings, in Greece, 70% of the respondents stated that they are satisfied with their job.   Surprisingly this has remained fairly stable over the past four years.   

job change appetite 

The desire to change jobs remained in 2020 for Greek respondents. 30% stated that they are currently seeking different job opportunities, the same as in 2019. 

actual job changes
The results found that 16% of employees in Greece actually changed jobs in 2020, a decrease of 3%  since 2019. Top reasons given for changing jobs are: better employment conditions (38%) and a personal desire for change (33%).  

fear of losing their job

29% of the Greek respondents stated they fear losing their job which is at the same levels of 2019.   

Greek employees who feared losing their job over the past four years

2020  29% 
2019 29% 
2018  37%
2017  41%

 

about the randstad workmonitor

The Randstad Workmonitor was launched in the Netherlands in 2003, and covers 34 countries around the world. The study encompasses Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. The Randstad Workmonitor is published four times a year, making both local and global trends in mobility visible over time.  In 2020, half year measurements were carried out. In addition to the rotating set of themed questions, the survey also addresses job satisfaction, captures the likelihood of an employee changing jobs within the next six months, and provides a comprehensive understanding of sentiments and trends in the job market. 

The study is conducted online among employees aged 18 - 65, working a minimum of 24 hours per week in a paid job (not self employed).  Minimum sample size is 800 interviews in each market.  The Dynata panel is used for sampling purposes.  

The second survey for 2020 was conducted in Greece in November 2020.