This study was carried out by students of Nova SBE's Master in International Management CEMS and counted on a sample of 177 Portuguese and foreign students (27 nationalities), a second sample of 167 people already inserted in the labor market, in Portugal and abroad (25 nationalities), and a third sample of current employees of BNP Paribas in Portugal, about the future of work. The data was collected through questionnaires, interviews and focus groups held in March and April of this year.
Regarding the hybrid working model, both students and employees of Portuguese and international companies do not expect to go to the office to develop the activities that they can do from home. Most of the participants stated that making individual decisions and developing reports are tasks that do not justify a trip to the office.
Furthermore, as for the work environment, students opt for a shared office model, with three to five people (45%), or an open space model.
According to Filipa Castanheira, professor responsible for supervising the study, "this project reveals very consistently, and through different sources of information, that expectations regarding work contexts are clearly changing. We had already observed, before the pandemic, a desire for a more flexible work format and promoter of greater work-life balance, but now, on the return after successive confinements and following the acceleration of digital transformation, workers have shown that it is possible to do certain tasks with quality and concentration from home."
"There is an explicit demand for organizations that provide working relationships that allow one to benefit from this flexibility and a preference for teams with more "collaborative" face-to-face work designs." There is notoriously a distaste for the feeling of "coming to the office to do what you could do at home," and so the big challenge for organizations in the "future of work" seems not so much to be the "fun of ball pools and fruit baskets," but rather leadership training and the organization of physical workspaces, providing places to relax and socialize, for debate and problem solving, for team meetings, betting on differentiating what is individual work that can be done remotely from what is collaborative work that can benefit from the physical presence of the teams.", he concluded.
Values are a core concern for young people
The study also revealed that students are strongly influenced by the corporate values of companies when sending applications or deciding between job offers. Most international students revealed, however, that they have little knowledge about organizations in Portugal that clearly disclose the values they defend, which may be a reason for keeping potential international employees away.
It was also found that among the international students who participated in the study, only one in three is considering working in Portugal after finishing their degree. However, when faced with a scenario that included the possibility of working in Portugal in a company whose corporate values are similar to those of BNP Paribas (although the name of the company was not mentioned), this percentage rises to two out of three.
Finally, the research concluded that corporate social networks can contribute to the recognition of organizations and their values. From the analysis of the website and social networks of 37 Portuguese or international companies present in Portugal, it was found that most organizations do not actively communicate their flexible working policies. Among the minority that does, they only mention it on their job portal to inform potential candidates that they have a hybrid model in operation, without explaining it in detail.