Marcus Buckingham says “Give importance to flexibility rather than Money to keep workers longtime in today’s economy”


CEOs realize they face a long and difficult path ahead. A lot of the issues they’ve encountered
in the last two years–remote jobs, supply chain delays, product shortages, the rise in
inflation–will likely be cured by the pandemic soon afterward however the shortage of labor
they’re facing now certain to not. It’s clear that the U.S.’s aging population and rising retirements
aren’t going to be solved anytime very soon. Business leaders must alter their compensation,
benefits, and work environments to keep up with one another and attract the best talent.

Marcus Buckingham has spent decades researching what makes people more successful and
happier at work. This was done at Gallup as well as his own HR consulting firm that was later

purchased by ADP. The company now has him as the head of ADP’s ADP Research Institute,
most recently conducting a survey in 27 countries of tens of thousands of employees on what
motivates them to love (or dislike) their job. In his latest publication, Love + Work which is due
out later on the 1st of March, He sets out the ways we can create the future of work to be more
humane and productive. work. He spoke to TIME about what the future of work could look like,
as well as the role that managers play in the change.

The structure of work is always changing However, most office employees
are looking for a hybrid schedule that combines remote work and office
currently. What do you think?

It’s fairly stable It’s about 50percent of employees who currently work in an office each day. The
rest is split roughly 50/50 or all remotely or in a hybrid. The employees who enter the workplace
are both the most stressed and the most relaxed. When you compare the remote employees,
they’re the same. This suggests that it’s based on the individual instead of the location. What
people are really searching for isn’t the flexibility of their location. It’s the flexibility of time. The
pandemic has demonstrated to everyone that we’re all human beings. [Ed. Note This is the point
at which, during our interview, I noticed that my three-year-old daughter was seen running into
the room. Similar to your child today during spring break, we know now what she looks like, and
that she is in the room occasionally. We would like to be able to get my child or go pick up my
grandma. The whole hybrid discussion ignores the fact that it’s not about geographic location or
geographical area. It’s the versatility of being a human being.

What is the best way to align it with the demands of big business for
efficiency? Do workers get the time they’d like for the long run without
working less?

Any CEO who says productivity fell during remote work is merely making up a story. The first
thing I’d ask them is to be able to prove the claim. Personal productivity measures at work can’t
be located. It is really hard to locate. We can see a huge achievement, in fact. We can observe
how the companies performed, and they’ve done very exceptionally well. What we’ve learned
during the past two years is that individuals can be equally efficient, and in some cases more
productive, if they have more flexibility in their time.

The issue for CEOs is one of real estate. There are all these expensive offices, and you have to
figure out how to make use of the space. For the most part for workers–1.8 jobs per candidate,
3.5% unemployment–we now have a lot more control over what we select. We’ve changed as
humans in the last two years. Companies that don’t see emotional people like that will have
huge talent issues. Check out Jamie Dimon [CEO of JPMorgan ChaseJamie Dimon, JPMorgan
Chase. “You’re going to be back to work.” No, you’re not. Because then everyone can work at a
tech firm that doesn’t adhere to the same regulations. Apple will run into the same situation.

“People get more done when they are hanging out with each other around an open cooler.” But
they’re not. It’s not true. There’s not any data available on that in any way. This doesn’t mean

humans don’t need one another. Humans require other human beings. However, the CEO talks
about development, culture, and productivity — that’s all just invented.

One of the questions you can ask is, is there something called good
stress? If you’re on more time to relax can you say if there is any negative
or positive in the way you’ll be able to function without adrenaline?

We have two facts that we are aware of in response to your query. The second will be that it is
dependent on the person. In addition, it was a study in 27 countries. It was an unstructured
random sample of workers in each country, with 1,000 of them in each country. In the end, we
were studying the resilience of people and their inclusion. However, we also decided to include
some stress questions. One of which was “I am experiencing significant stress at work during
the past week.” We also were asked to rate it on a scale of between one and five. We also
included measurements of, “Are you intending to quit your job within about three months? Do
you have a plan to interview to quit the organization within 3 months’ time?”

The general patterns are similar to what you’d think: those who were adamant that they had not
suffered from significant stress showed more engagement and resilience, and less chance of
considering leaving or conducting interviews. To your point oddly enough it was the
second-highest positive result in the areas of engagement, and resilience, and the likelihood to
leave was among those who were able to affirm that they’d experienced stress during the past
week. We’re thinking, “Wait a minute.” What’s the only scenario in which stress can turn out to
be beneficial? We discovered that the only moment when stress is beneficial is when you are
passionate about your work and you’re skilled at it.

If you are passionate about your work, but you’re not great at it, then stress is a bad thing. If you
don’t enjoy the work you do, however, you’re skilled with it, it’s dangerous. If you don’t enjoy it
and aren’t skilled in it, then stress can be extremely harmful. Then under any other situation, it’s
bad. New in the field, 8 years in the business–bad awful horrible terrible, horrible. The only time
that stress is truly positive is when you experience an intense love and mastery of the specific
activity you are doing.

Adrenaline is actually a negative way to learn. However, when you are passionate about your
work and you’re great at it then you don’t have adrenaline and cortisol, and fight or flight running
through your brain since it stops you from absorbing. There’s norepinephrine, oxytocin and
vasopressin, and serotonin. you’ve got this chemical mix inside your brain that’s nearly the same
chemical mix that you experience when you’re deeply in love with someone. This opens you up
to more knowledge, and more learning, and you’re more imaginative You can handle more
efficiently in cognitive tasks, and you are able to sense emotions more precisely.

Home or not at all, stress is a consequence of whether the specific things you’re performing no
matter the reason, truly suit your lifestyle. If you allow me the flexibility and time regardless of
whether I’m at work or at home or at work, to pick the time I’m working and the things I’m doing,
I’m better at my job and feel less stress. Any CEO who is doing something that’s not in line with

the norm, it’s just being a bit out of touch with what’s naturally human about us which could
appear like a stupid decision.

(For information on what’s to come for work in the near future, go to and join
the no-cost Charter Newsletter.)

In the overall scheme of the U.S. workforce, how many of us are employed
in a position we love and excel at? What do you think is the most
significant job that managers and bosses could help alleviate stress for
workers and make people feel more satisfied with their jobs if they don’t
enjoy their work? A lot of people require work.

The actual figure represents 51% of those who claim they love their work that’s a lot. I’m sure
the pandemic has been beneficial, in part, because we’ve been on our own quite a bit.
Seventy-three percent of people claim they’re able to adapt their work to better suit their needs.
This means we have more flexibility than we imagine. There’s plenty of love that can be found in
nearly every job.

If you’re looking to build an enterprise that draws people who are in these difficult labor markets,
then you need to speak without cliches concerning, “We’re interested in who you are, what you
are passionate about, and the ways you can increase your proficiency there.” In the event that
you included that as an integral part of your brand’s personality. That’s non-trivial.

The next step is select control spans. [Ed. Note: This can be an HR phrase that refers to what
number of direct reports each supervisor is accountable for. It is a reference to the number of
direct reports each supervisor has. Prior to the pandemic, nurses experienced the highest levels
of burnout as well as levels of PTSD nearly twice that of veterans who returned from conflict
zones. One of the biggest–not the only, but most important causes is that the
supervisor-to-nurse proportion in the United States, on average is 1:60. Sometimes it goes as
high as 1:100. If you don’t make anyone feel like they’re being noticed in the workplace, and you
won’t possibly help them discover their passions or excel in and how they can do some more of
it in the event that you have a ratio that is one:60. Rename your spans of control and change
the names of your spans of focus, since that’s exactly what they should be.

If you’re looking to lessen stress, join the team. If you feel that you’re part of a group and feel
like you’re part of a team, you’re less likely to claim that you’ve experienced stress over the past
week. The two most resilient and most disengaged professions include teachers and health
professionals. There are a lot of reasons–underfunding and maybe what I was saying about
spans of control. There aren’t any school teams. There aren’t teams in hospitals. Hospitals are
vertically integrated by area of expertise or job. We’re thinking, “I wonder why nurses are leaving
in a flurry?”

Does this tie in with the current push for unionization at this moment?
Numerous companies that have historically had decent pay and benefits
like Starbucks and Apple are currently going through union elections.

It’s an exciting time for businesses. Amazon changed their base pay from 100 dollars to a
number front to 300. Target has now paid 25 dollars an hour. Businesses are pouring money
into this issue. There’s no doubt that people are fond of money. That’s definitely an excellent
strategy. However, as you pointed out many companies that appear to be doing great for their
employees are having trouble with representation or unionization. The reason this is a major
wake-up call to businesses is that we’re coming out of this epidemic as changed individuals.
We’re all in the same boat experienced a number of bad days, been alone, and we’ve lost our
sense of what we’re doing when we’re at work. We’ve been in the mirror and we thought, “What
the heck am I?” And some of those days, you’re thinking “I have a personality, I’m worth
something. I’m more than just a cog in a machine. I’m a person who wants to be a part of
something. I’m a complete human. I’d like to be at a job that treats me as a human being in all
aspects.” I would like the business to view me as a human being in all aspects. If they don’t, I’ll
join the union that does. But I don’t think that the companies are prepared for it.

We’ll have to issue a massive call to arms for that HR department. At the present, even for
companies such as Apple HR is designed to shield Apple from people. It’s the reason it exists.
When you mix the two that I’m returning to work, and I need to be recognized as a complete
human being. Then I realized that the company even the HR department is created to protect
the business from me. That’s an unbalanced combination.

Do you think there is a time in which HR is not only safeguarding the
company but also helping it grow?

Well, no, I mean, maybe. I believe we’ll experience a very difficult labor market for at least the
next 5 years. Companies will be thinking about the various things they need to accomplish to
appeal to the top talent. The HR function is the biggest obstacle to this. It’s all one of the
reasons Joseph Stiglitz created “stakeholder capitalism” which is where the employees
comprise one of the four stakeholders. I believe we’ll get to a point at which the top companies
will be able to say, “Now there’s one stakeholder that’s employees. It’s where value is
generated. This is where the products are manufactured. If we get it correct, we’re sure to be

I don’t believe that we’re yet there. However, I believe the power of the labor market will help us
reach that point. The big banking institutions in New York are finding out that you cannot go in
and make up the ridiculous things that CEOs are saying. You just seem at them as if you’re out
of contact. “You’re coming back to work because we’ve built a huge one.” Tim, Tim, Tim…

You’ve been studying a number of businesses. Do you have any that you
believe are doing it well and are getting employees to join because of it?

I believe Lululemon has done well in this regard. I’m not affirming that Lululemon is the perfect
business however, they manage the whole onboarding process very well. They say, “What are
your personal goals? If your aim is to be president of Lululemon then that’s awesome however if
the objective is I want to create my own shoe company within three years, or I’d like to open the
first Yoga studio within five years that’s great, we’ll do our best to achieve them all.” It’s
fascinating. The fact that when employees leave their jobs, their photos are displayed in the
hallway. They are employees who have left, and when you visit a Lululemon the pictures of
them are on display as brand ambassadors. In the majority of cases, you leave the company,
you’re dead and your worth has been lost.

I just got back from a large construction company located in San Antonio called Zachry, and
they have Dream Manager. The job of the Dream Manager is to talk with everyone about what
their goals are. It may sound absurd when I’m speaking to you and yet they had people crying.
I’m just as snarky as everyone else But it was like”Okay, this business is destroying itself
currently and they’re speaking to people who might possess an education degree, however,
they might not possess a degree from college They were interviewing them one at a time about
their dreams? What can we do to be part of that dream? I believe that the future will be
something like that.

I’m sure we’re all aware that the pandemic has altered the way we work. Do
you think that within two years we’ll return to the nine-to-five at the office,
exactly that we used to be and it will be an insignificant memory? Do you
believe this will turn out to be a permanent change?

I don’t see any doubt that it’s the former. Since the unemployment numbers will stay as they are
and money isn’t going to cut it. We have more power as workers than we’ve ever had. It will
continue to be in this manner for the coming five years, assuming some kind of global conflict.
Which is possible, I suppose.

Could it be because the shortage of workers will persist for several years
due to the aging of the population?

We’ve seen more people who are older than younger ones. That’s likely to continue. The
number of workers is likely to shrink. Inflation in wages will occur due to the fact that the
workforce is constrained. However, I think that what this means is that you can answer your own
question: that we’re not coming back. If there’s a business that announces, “You’re coming in,”
then I’ll say, “No, I won’t. I’ll come over here.” Then there’s another business that’ll say, “Oh, ok, I
think we could do it.” You’re seeing it all over the world. The pandemic taught us that we can
maintain and improve our productivity when employees aren’t working every day. This doesn’t
mean that everyone isn’t at work at all times, but it means that we can be extremely efficient as
a team and allow employees to have greater flexibility than we offered prior. This, in my opinion,
is the case that when we took away all the things that go with work–the commutes and
registration process by presenting your ID, office parties, etc.–a majority of us thought, “This job
is actually very poorly created and I don’t want this job,” or, “I do not need all that things.” You’re

more in control and have more control, which means you’re more powerful. This is a good
feeling for anyone.

So, yeah, I know that we’re not going to go back. It’s like, never think that you’ll never again
because there’s a chance there will be a global conflict. In the meantime the fact that we’re not
going to go back.

Marcus Buckingham: Why “Love” Is the Key to Career Success