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Business Intelligence Deloitte study: more than half of workers around the world identify increasing work stress as their top concern, followed by changes generated by technology advancement

Deloitte study: more than half of workers around the world identify increasing work stress as their top concern, followed by changes generated by technology advancement

by Deloitte Romania March 26, 2024
  • Envisioning new possibilities for human-tech collaboration is a struggle for most of organizations
  • Human resources functions should shift from an operational role to a cross-functional approach

More than half of workers (54%) around the world identify increasing work stress as their top concern, according to the Deloitte 2024 Global Human Capital Trends report, while technology advancement is second on the list, according to a quarter of workers, who worry about the significant changes that technology advancement brings, such as creating the need for new skills and new jobs. Other workers’ concerns include employers’ new ability to digitally monitor their work without their consent (22%) and the lack of connection and belonging due to more remote or hybrid work (20%).

The study introduces the concept of human sustainability, which refers to employers’ efforts to create a sustainable environment from a human capital point of view, able to support the development of their entire workforce while focusing on health, well-being and on the sense of belonging. While most respondents agree that human sustainability is important (76%), less than half of them (46%) take action in this regard and only 10% are successfully addressing the issue. This gap adds to the different perception on the topic across the organizations’ hierarchy levels, the study reminds, as nine out of ten executives (89%) say their organization is advancing human sustainability in some capacity, while only four out of ten non-executive workers (41%) say the same.

“For organizations, bridging the gap between knowing how to do something and actually doing it requires a comprehensive roadmap, further built into strategies centered on amplifying human performance on a combination of both human and business outcomes. Enhancing human performance requires leaders to dismantle siloes and adapt the traditional constructs in order to meet current era’s exigencies. Anchoring workforce relations in trust demands however that employers continue to treasure the human attributes to their true value and leverage technologies and new sources of data to their optimal level,” said Raluca Bontas, Partner, Deloitte Romania.

Technology advancement creates the potential for new ways of working that can elevate human performance, but, in order for organizations to experiment these new ways without putting business outcomes at risk, they need to adopt the so-called “digital playgrounds” mindset, in which technologies are intentionally curated and opportunities to use them are democratized, according to the study. Most organizations recognize the importance of digital playgrounds (65%), but only 41% are doing something about it and few are doing enough to make meaningful progress (10%).

As AI advances, organizations might face challenges in envisioning new possibilities for humans to collaborate with technology, the study shows. Although 73% of respondents acknowledge the importance of ensuring that human imagination keeps pace with tech innovation, only one out of ten companies (9%) is making great progress towards achieving that balance. Organizations that address the imagination deficit are nearly twice as likely to achieve their desired business (1.8x) and human (1.9x) outcomes.

As human capital is considered a boundaryless world, in which work is no longer defined by jobs, the workplace is no longer a specific place, and many workers are no longer traditional employees, a single function cannot be accountable on its own for all the demands that derive from this, according to the study. Therefore, the human resources (HR) function should consider shifting from an operational role to a cross-functional approach and also become boundaryless. Currently, 20% of C-suite leaders strongly agree that their HR improves workers’ performance, while, among non-executive workers, only 10% strongly agree that their HR practices meet their unique needs and preferences. Nevertheless, some progress is being made in the shift toward a boundaryless HR, as more than a third (35%) of respondents say that the HR function in their organization has expanded its scope over the past three years and nearly a third (27%) of C-suite leaders strongly agree that it has become more integrated with other business functions.

Deloitte’s 2024 Global Human Capital Trends survey polled 14,000 business and human resources leaders across many industries and sectors in 95 countries, including Romania. In addition to the global survey, Deloitte supplemented its research with worker and executive surveys to present the workforce perspective and reveal the gaps between leaders’ perceptions and workers’ realities.

Deloitte provides industry-leading audit and assurance, tax and legal, consulting, financial advisory, and risk advisory services to nearly 90% of the Fortune Global 500® and thousands of private companies. The firm’s professionals deliver measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in capital markets, enable clients to transform and thrive, and lead the way toward a stronger economy, a more equitable society, and a sustainable world. Building on its 175-plus-year history, Deloitte spans more than 150 countries and territories. Its objective is to make an impact that matters through its 457,000 people worldwide.

Deloitte Romania is one of the leading professional services organizations in the country providing, in cooperation with Reff & Associates | Deloitte Legal, services in audit, tax, legal, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, business processes as well as technology services and other related services, through over 3,400 professionals.

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© 2024. For information, contact Deloitte Romania

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