What’s going on:
As employees are asked to return to the office after an extended period of remote work due to the pandemic, more employers are observing a need for etiquette refresher courses, according to Work Life. A recent survey of more than 1,500 respondents by ResumeBuilder found that many employees are being perceived as being rusty in a variety of aspects of workplace behavior — including appropriate workplace conversations, dressing suitably, maintaining proper eye contact, and taking appropriate breaks.
Almost half of the respondents surveyed (who hold executive or management titles in companies with 11 or more employees) said that they are currently offering etiquette classes, according to Work Life. Another 18% said that they are planning to implement these kinds of training programs by next year. The study cites that younger Gen Z workers, many of whom started their careers in remote positions, are being targeted to brush up their professionalism skills.
Why it matters:
The call for employees to return to the office by numerous companies in the workforce is a major lifestyle change compared to the remote work environments that employees have grown accustomed to during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work has altered workforce perceptions of office norms — especially among many gen z workers who statistically don’t have a lot of experience with traditional office work environments.
This change is impacting not only office dynamics but also the perceived competence and professionalism of employees, which can affect productivity, team dynamics, and overall business performance. The fact that hundreds of companies in ResumeBuilder’s survey are investing in etiquette training suggests that soft skills, like appropriate workplace behavior, are still highly valued and necessary in a post-pandemic working environment.
How it’ll impact the future:
The data emphasizes the importance of soft skills training in the new hybrid working world. Even as technical skills remain essential, numerous companies are likely to invest more in developing employees’ interpersonal and professional skills moving forward. This type of training might become a more common part of onboarding — especially for younger employees.