71% of UK professionals would seek more flexible job

flexible work

Seven in 10 UK professionals would consider leaving their organisation to secure flexible working options that suited them, research has revealed.

A survey of 4,134 professionals and key hiring decision makers from 62 companies around the world by recruitment firm Morgan McKinley found that 71% of UK professionals would look for a new employer that provided their preferred way of working.

The research, conducted for Morgan McKinley’s 2022 salary guide, showed that nine in 10 global employers had changed their policies on flexible working since the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic began.

While 45% of global employers outlined increased salaries and compensation as their most effective form of talent attraction as the Great Resignation put pressure on staffing levels, 42% of UK professionals said they did not know what their employer was doing to try to retain them and 84% were considering a career move in the next six to 12 months.

David Leithead, chief operations officer of Morgan McKinley UK, commented that so far, the expected impact of hybrid working in reducing salaries for non-commuters had not materialised.

But he warned that some employers do not like to admit that video interactions between employees are simply not the same from a relationship and retention point of view.

“A dangerous factor in the Great Resignation is that it fuels itself,” added Leithead. “Change breeds change; attrition in one organisation causes it to hire from another. The biggest thing fuelling this is the breaking of bonds between employers and their employees that happens when the in-person, in-office interactions and communications are at a low ebb.”

Leithead added that overall, the pandemic has accentuated the value of the technical specialist, and the continued devaluation of the generalist.

“Technical skills are in demand… but it isn’t matched with the availability of skills, so organisations need to plan ahead to know how and when they can compromise, and when they need to activate a plan B to look at alternative solutions,” he said.