Aquent, the workforce solutions company, has released its 2022 Future of Work survey findings for marketing, creative, and design talent. With approximately 3,500 respondents, this survey explores what employees want from the workplace now and in the future.
The desire for more freedom in where and how to work continues to rise, with 60% of respondents expressing interest in working as a digital nomad for up to 12 months in the next one to three years. However, three out of four young professionals voiced concerns about their career progression—they want to know that they will still be afforded the opportunities that they would get in a traditional office setting.
“Employees have made it clear that hybrid and/or remote working is now considered a baseline level of flexibility. For employers to remain desirable and able to attract the highest performers, consideration needs to be given around package personalisation, and one area that can give companies a true competitive advantage is by supporting those who want to either be a fully-fledged digital nomad or desire a short stint abroad.”
“To do this, these workers will need company guidance and support around visas, core working hours and tax guidance so that they can live their best lives,” said Aliza Sweiry, UK Managing Director at Aquent. “Not everyone wants to work in the sun, and for younger workers, we saw they were concerned about having enough face time with colleagues so that they could progress.”
The Rise of the Digital Nomad
While many companies have moved to remote or hybrid work environments since 2020, Aquent’s recent survey found an increase in the demand for a certain kind of remote work: the digital nomad lifestyle. Digital nomads work entirely remotely while travelling to various locations of their choosing, often including international travel for extended periods of time.
This lifestyle is distinct even from a more standard remote work environment due to the transient nature of the desired travel and continues to rise in popularity among workers. One striking survey finding indicates 60% of employees across all levels and ages reported interest in digital nomad work at some point in the next one to three years.
A Shift in Priorities for Remote Workers
Aquent’s survey reveals that organizations must not only embrace the digital nomad worker, but also have effective processes, support systems, and policies in place in order to ensure they are hiring and retaining top talent.
The survey found remote workers’ needs are evolving in surprising ways. For instance, workers ranked unlimited vacation fourth when prioritizing the importance of various benefits, indicating that other perks have become more appealing.
Lingering Concerns about Career Progression with Remote Work
While increasing flexibility for remote workers continues to be popular for professionals of all ages, younger professionals are most likely to have concerns about their career progression in this environment.
Aquent’s survey shows 77% of 18–24-year-olds expressed concern that remote work will restrict their career progression. This concern decreases with age, with 61% of workers aged 25–40, 56% of those aged 41–55, and 54% of those 56 or older sharing the same concern.
Aquent’s 2022 Future of Work report reflects the results of a global survey conducted by Aquent and Vitamin T from June to July 2022 with 3,484 respondents in the marketing, creative, and design fields. Additional data was also collected through LinkedIn polls on the Vitamin T and Aquent company pages.
We engaged Dr. Terri Horton, MBA, MA, a recognized thought leader on the future of work, to help craft the survey questions and provide insights on the results.
Aquent LLC is a global workforce services company that runs the largest staffing firm specializing in marketing, creative, and experience design. Since its founding in a dorm room in 1986, Aquent has transformed the staffing industry by going above and beyond for clients, investing in talent, and pioneering new technologies and services.
In addition to the Aquent Staffing brand, the company has several other business units, including Vitamin T, Aquent Studios, Aquent Scout, Aquent Gymnasium, and RoboHead.