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A growing body of evidence suggests that corporate employees want a new relationship with their employers. The covid‑19 pandemic has changed employee expectations about remote work and flexibility, Gen Zers expect to be able to work on side hustles, and the cost-of-living crisis has created new pressures.

New models of employment could emerge that impose far fewer rules about how workers accomplish tasks and how and when they work. Such new models may even encourage rather than restrict side projects. For now, employers' reactions to employee pressures are mixed: Some companies are experimenting with increased flexibility, and other companies are resisting change—despite stretched labor markets.


Patterns are evaluated for their relevance to one or more of the following strategic planning areas: Infrastructure; Organization; Talent; Creation; and Marketing. This Pattern is most relevant to: Talent; and is also relevant to: Organization.


Patterns are also evaluated to determine the recommended timing of any strategic actions being considered to address the developments. On a scale of Initiate (near-term actions), Monitor (medium-term actions), or Watch (long-term actions), the timing for this Pattern is: Initiate.

Abstracts That Inspired This Pattern

  • SC-2022-10-05-059: Citigroup Offers Junior Hires Option to Trade Pay for Better Work-Life Balance

    "Citigroup has opened a new hub for junior investment bankers" in Málaga, Spain, where analysts will do the same work that analysts elsewhere do but work roughly half the hours for half the pay. "Executives at the US-based bank say they are responding to changing generational preferences and complaints about junior banker burnout that boiled over during [2021's] booming capital markets."

  • SC-2022-10-05-100: Millions of Brits Have Multiple Jobs, and Millions Are Seeking a Side Hustle

    New data from insurer Royal London Mutual Insurance Society reveal that, in efforts to overcome the cost-of-living crisis, more than 5 million Brits are taking on a second or even third job, and another 10 million Brits are considering doing so. A separate UK study by web-domain provider GoDaddy indicates that the past two years have seen a 49% increase in side hustles.

  • SC-2022-10-05-034: Why Quiet Quitting Has Become a Global Phenomenon

    Quiet quitting—employees' doing the bare minimum and performing no work-related tasks once the workday ends—is a hot topic in media and among academics studying psychology and existentialism. Some people who worked from home during the covid‑19 pandemic are now questioning their relationship with work, their job satisfaction, and their work-life balance.

  • SC-2022-10-05-064: Survey: Hybrid Work Has Created a Divide between Managers and Employees

    A recent Microsoft-sponsored survey of 20,000 workers across 11 countries shows that although 87% of employees report that they are productive at work, only 12% of leaders say that they have full confidence that their team is productive. According to 85% of leaders, having confidence that their employees are being productive is challenging because of the shift to hybrid-work schemes.