As the UK begins to open up again, leading women’s lifestyle brand Marie Claire UK – part of Future PLC – is setting the agenda when it comes to delivering relevant work life content for its audience in a post-lockdown world.
Leading professional network LinkedIn partnered Marie Claire for a survey revealing how those in the UK feel about returning to the office after working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The findings – which have garnered national publicity – were used to generate a wealth of specialised content and activity across Marie Claire’s platforms about the Future Of Work, including collaborations with influencers such as flexible working campaigner Anna Whitehouse.
Andrea Thompson, Marie Claire UK Editor In Chief, says: “Throughout lockdown, we developed several franchises on the site and our social channels which focussed on The Future of Work and how Covid had impacted the way we worked. Our content shifted as the news changed from advice on setting yourself up to work from home at the start of lockdown to looking at the mental health impact as lockdown continued and investigating the broader trends in the workplace over the past decade which enforced lockdown had accelerated, such as agile working.
“This kept our content relevant to our audience who were looking for support, inspiration and practical career tips on how to upskill for a rapidly changing world. We interviewed politicians, CEOs, HR directors, executive coaches and psychologists and future forecasters to gain insights around how work patterns were shifting. This informed the content that was produced and the direction of our questions for the survey. We approached LinkedIn to partner with us on the survey as the leading global networking forum since they had extra insights from conversations on their own platform.
“Following the survey the industry experts we had worked with throughout lockdown provided commentary on the findings and insight around them. We also sought comment from case studies, influencers and key female leaders and campaigners on their own experiences which brought the findings to life for our audience. A Twitter poll on our own platform revealed similar findings.
“As a brand with a long standing and respected reputation for excellent careers content, as well for campaigning on flexible working, women’s empowerment and gender equality in the workplace, Marie Claire was perfectly placed to add authority to the research.”
The research showed that while there was a period of adjustment – over half ( 56%) of UK workers felt more anxious or stressed working from home at the start of lockdown – the past few months have also pushed forward the flexibility that workers want to see.
Emily Spaven, Head of UK News at LinkedIn: “The pandemic has definitely been a moment that has seen decades worth of change in a matter of months. Every day I see more and more LinkedIn posts about the topic of working from home, many from those who are really enjoying the flexibility this gives them, which is further supported in our research.
“We’ve heard from many people on the platform that they’re much happier now that, during their normal working or commuting hours, they’re able to fit in some home exercise, or take a bit of fresh air while walking the dog, be there for bedtime every day, or family meals together – things they were missing out on before the pandemic and that they’re now really reluctant to give up. There’s such a strong demand now for more flexible working hours, and employers are really starting to pay attention, which is great to see.”
- 3 in 5 agree that the traditional 9-5 work day should be over after the pandemic
- Nearly a third would switch industries and 19% would take a 10% pay cut for a job that allows them to work flexibly
- The ideal set-up would be to work from home three days a week (27%), while a third want to go into the office just one day a week and one in six (17%) never want to go back to the office at all
- 43% believe their work/life balance will suffer when returning to the workplace
- 52% are concerned about contracting coronavirus in the office.