33% of employees will look for another job if denied flexible working

Half of employers believe Covid-19 will help see value in flexible working

New research has revealed that a third of UK employees will be prompted to look for a new job if their organisation will not allow flexible working.

Findings from Barnett Waddingham’s survey have shown that almost half (47%) of full-time remote workers are keen to remain mainly at home post-pandemic, with occasional days at the office.

A total of 23% of younger staff and those at smaller companies said they would feel confident challenging their employer if flexibility is not permitted, and 11% would immediately look for a new job or plan to leave if this request was denied.

When asked how they would prefer to work once all lockdown restrictions have lifted in the UK, just a fifth (20%) of employees are keen to do so mainly in an office in the future, with just over a tenth (12%) preferring to work only at home.

David Collington, associate and head of benefit consulting at Barnett Waddingham, commented that flexible working has been a hot topic for businesses embracing change and agility across the UK.

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“However, the risks of not adopting flexibility for the retention of staff are starting to rise to the surface as we begin to move out of lockdown for good. Employee sentiment is crystal clear; adopt hybrid working for the future, or people will happily move somewhere where they can work how they like,” he said.

“Employers now need to focus on gauging the views and preferences of their workforce. It’s no use adopting a blanket ‘back to the office’ or ‘only work at home’ policy. Businesses risk their employees feeling dissatisfied and disillusioned with their company, and in today’s competitive job market, the cost of this decision in recruitment and retention terms far outweighs the cost of a nuanced and flexible policy,” Collington added.