With all the stress workers experience amidst all the changes brought by the pandemic, work-life balance has now become more than just an aspiration, but a vital demand by people actively looking for employment. In fact, Vietnamese job seekers in 2022 consider work-life balance the most important box to tick before signing the employment contract, according to new research from Grove HR and YouGov.
When visualizing what work-life balance means, most workers envision equalizing a see-saw — with work on one side and the rest of their life on the other. But in reality, it’s about improving productivity within the workplace and having enough time to recharge. That’s something the Vietnamese workforce is looking for in a job.
In time for the “golden period of recruitment,” the three-month phase within the Tet season, the labor demand in Vietnam is particularly high. As per the result of the research, 73.4% of Vietnamese job seekers prioritize having a work-life balance over benefits (72.9%) and job security (69.3%). Company culture came in fourth with 52.6%, office location 45.3%, and employer brand 44.8%. Only 41.7% consider the quick and effective recruitment process as their first concern.
Bao Nguyen, General Manager at the all-in-one HR platform for modern companies Grove HR, said, “After tens of thousands of people returned to their hometowns during and after the lockdowns of 2021. Now, attracting new workers is no longer just about offering attractive salaries. Staff wants more from their jobs. Therefore, managers need to adapt their HR strategies to match the new realities of recruitment post-pandemic.”
In a 2021 research, the results were quite different. At the height of the pandemic in the country and during the hard lockdown, Vietnamese candidates sought job security (63.7%), work-life balance (61.6%), and flexible time (42.6%). Work-life balance didn’t even make it to the priority list.
Thue Quist Thomasen, CEO of the international research and data analytics group YouGov said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world of work around the globe, and Vietnam is no different. Our data shows that workers now want to maintain a good work-life balance.”
The research also revealed that almost half (49%) of people intend to change jobs this year. That’s a fall of just 2% in 2021, and consistent with trends elsewhere around the world.
However, when attracting potential employees, the research suggests companies will need to offer a good financial package, with most people looking for between 10% and 30% more than their current salaries. Only around one in ten (11%) would consider switching jobs for a rise of less than 10%. On the other hand, over a third (36%) would leave their job if their salaries were cut by 10%, highlighting the challenges of staff retention in the new normal.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation has had a significant impact on how we collaborate. Where we work and the employer-employee relationship with respect to remote job performance could mean different things for different people nowadays. It’s true in Vietnam, workers now want a flexible work environment.
The research also found that 40% of people are hoping to combine office and remote work in 2022 or hybrid work. One-fifth or only 21% want to return to the office full time and 16% want to continue working at home. The rest of the respondents want a self-arranged setup (16%) and work at a co-working space (7%).
“Companies need to offer attractive benefits and incentives while also creating and communicating a positive corporate culture and facilitating a flexible workplace where staff has the option to split their time between home and the office,” Thue added.
According to Bao, even though the lockdowns are over, the new normal trends such as remote and flexible working setups are expected to continue. To him, companies need to invest in the tools and technologies to facilitate a better work-life balance for their staff if they want to retain their employees.