Who Wants to be a Corporate Executive? The Answer Might Surprise You
104 West recently worked with our client, Intelligent Office, to develop what would come to be known as the Work IQ survey. The idea behind the survey was simple… everyone has a work style, but it’s not always the work style that they want to have. So we set out to find out how people currently work, but more importantly, how they aspire to work. Intelligent Office is a virtual, professionally staffed office space with locations across North America, so they have a vested interest in knowing what modern workers want their workday to look like.
So to gain the insight that we wanted, we put together a survey that asked a variety of questions on work environment, attire, resources, technology, hours, etc., and for each question, respondents gave two answers… how do you currently work, and how do you aspire to work. As a result of how they answered each question, every respondent fell into one of four categories to define both their current and aspirational work styles: corporate executive, professional, entrepreneur or independent.
We collected more than 1,000 responses to the survey, and when we started compiling the data, we weren’t exactly sure what the outcome would be. What we actually found was more surprising than even we had anticipated. When it came to how people want to work, not a single respondent wanted to be a corporate executive. Could that be right? We pored over the data, and then pored over it again. Survey says? No one wants to be a corporate executive. Not a few, not just one… none.
The data from the survey pointed to an enormous shift toward more mobility, flexibility, and ultimately, more freedom in the workplace. Some of what modern workers want is still what you might expect… people want to dress professionally, and they still want to have an office and a personal assistant. But an overwhelming majority also said that they want to have a better work/life balance and they want to have resources that will allow them to get away from their desks. We think that this represents a new generation of workers that have emerged out of the recent recession. They still want to be successful, and they still want the “American Dream”, they just want it on their own terms.
We’re excited about what we uncovered with the Work IQ survey, and because of its tremendous success, we are now preparing to launch the second round of the survey. So stay tuned, because we’re about to dig even further into what it means to be a modern worker.