One in five employers reject flexible working post pandemic

45% of employees predict permanent change to flexible working

A new report has found that nearly one in five employers have rejected flexible working for employees who desire a hybrid working model post the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Accountancy, finance and HR recruiter Wade Macdonald conducted the Employee expectations 2021 report, in which 395 people were canvassed to look into the expectations of employees in 2021 and how they have shifted since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Last year, 28% of workers said their mental health had declined during the pandemic, whereas the number shot up to nearly half (49%) this year.

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The report revealed a higher demand of people wanting to solely work from home as a result of this, rising to 22% from 19.5% in 2020. A total of 69% of respondents said they wanted a mixture of both home and office working, with more days spent at home being the preferred option, and two days working in the office and three days working from home the most popular choice.

Last year, 11% of employees claimed it was a lot harder to work from home, whereas this year the number has more than halved to 5%. The report also highlighted that financial support from employers towards proper working equipment for staff has increased to 53% compared to 37% last year.

Chris Goulding, managing director for Wade Macdonald, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way people have been living their lives across the world. People being thrust into home working has led to the increased desire for flexibility, inclusion, collaboration, work-life balance and autonomy.”

He added that the way that leaders manage their staff will have to change, with more emphasis on results garnered than time spent to meet those needs and desires of employees in this ‘new normal’.

Goulding concluded: “Employers not willing to at least meet staff halfway must be prepared to see a significant decrease of staff loyalty, employee numbers and brand reputation.”