Tag: Hybrid working

Half of workers dismiss jobs that do not offer hybrid working

According to new research by IWG, hybrid working is now the most sought-after benefit for job seekers. The research showed large numbers of office workers out flexible working alongside other benefits such as health insurance and group income protection (88%), life insurance (84%), unlimited vacation (76%), and extended parental leave (71%) as important benefits in a new role.

The survey was conducted among 2,000 office workers to understand better the key factors driving jobseekers’ decision-making.

The jobs website Indeed revealed that ‘hybrid’ is one of the fastest-growing search terms, having increased by 6,531% in the last 12 months. In addition, according to IWG’s research, half of workers would immediately dismiss jobs that do not offer hybrid working.

Job seekers also highly value the opportunity to work remotely. Searches for remote work have also risen by 666% and now account for 2.3% of all searches. Sixty percent of respondents stated they would like to work within 15 minutes of their home.

According to the research, office workers’ top five considerations when applying for a new role are:

  • Hybrid working (43%)
  • New colleagues (32%)
  • Potential for progression (30 %)
  • Company culture (27%)
  • Equity and bonuses (27%)

Half of office workers (49%) said they would immediately rule out jobs that didn’t offer hybrid working. Sixty-seven percent said it improved work/life balance. A further 37% mentioned improved mental health and wellbeing as a benefit. Reduction in commuting load was another benefit (36%). Thirty-one percent said it enhanced productivity.

IWG also provided data that indicates how the popularity of hybrid working is increasing the demand for suburban and rural office space. Demand for rural and suburban office space increased by 29% in 2021. Locations such as Bromsgrove (+52%), Beaconsfield (+33%), and Tewkesbury (+22%) rose in popularity.

Bruce Daisley, Author of The Joy of Work and former EMEA Vice-President of Twitter, said: “We’re right at the start of the biggest transformation in the way we work that we’ve ever witnessed. The biggest danger for firms is thinking that we’re the end of the change; we’re just at the start and companies need to prepare themselves.”

Mark Dixon, CEO of IWG, commented: “With a buoyant job market after a challenging couple of years, workers are demanding more of their employers and their roles. Gone are the days when salary was the only factor when considering a job offer, and nothing better demonstrates this than the rise of hybrid working.”

“Daily commuting is an expensive and unnecessary practice, and it’s clear to see that workers around the UK are taking back control of this time. Employers who don’t offer hybrid working are going to miss out on the best talent. Not only do employees benefit from a dramatically improved work-life balance, but by switching to a hybrid model, businesses can expect to save an average of more than £8,000 per employee, all while minimising their carbon footprint.”

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How HR teams can manage difficult staffing decisions effectively

Fashion retailer Missguided has come under fire for the way it recently announced a number of redundancies.

Following its collapse into administration due to increased supply chain costs, inflation, and weakened consumer confidence, the Manchester-based retailer announced that 80 staff members were being made redundant.

Although redundancies are not good news for most employees, in the case of Missguided, it was how the announcement was handled that sparked controversy.

The i newspaper reported that staff were advised via two separate phone calls – one for staff whose jobs were safe and another for those who would be losing their jobs.

Ex-employees have claimed that:

  • Staff who were not working at the time as they were on holiday or maternity leave found out via colleagues and social media posts that they had been made redundant
  • Staff were only given 20 minutes’ notice ahead of the phone call
  • Staff did not know that two separate phone calls had been arranged
  • Staff were muted during the call and given no opportunity to speak
  • Employees who had lost their jobs were told not to return to the office and that their belongings would be returned to them
  • Security guards stopped sacked staff from entering the Manchester offices.

With remote and hybrid working, it is no surprise that companies use Zoom and other online mediums to announce major company decisions.

Missguided are not the only company to have taken this route. Earlier this year, P&O Ferries told hundreds of employees via a video recording that they were losing their jobs with immediate effect and were being replaced with cheaper agency staff.

Similarly, online US mortgage firm Better.com made 900 employees redundant via a Zoom call. Later, CEO Vishal Garg apologised for failing to show adequate “respect and appreciation” for the employees involved.

In 2020, workers at the ride-hailing firm Uber were told that they would lose their jobs via a three-minute video Zoom conference call.

Even though digital communications make sense in large organisations, hearing that one has lost a job via broadcast communication is less than ideal. Hearing the news from a line manager is a much better option.

Redundancy processes are stressful for employees and HR teams, so the process should always be handled sensitively and professionally. Honesty and clarity are key components of successful support.

Adele Edwin-Lamerton, Senior Associate, Employment at Kingsley Napley, said: “Due to the increase in hybrid working, meetings which previously would have only taken place in person now frequently occur remotely. Although this can feel impersonal, what is key is that the appropriate process is followed. It’s not so much the medium which is used, but the message it conveys which is important.”

“However pressed they are for time, employers should remember that they need to adopt a fair process and consult with their employees.”

Professor Jonathan Passmore, Senior Vice President at CoachHub, commented: “… as part of the C-Suite’s wider communication remit there is also a role to be played by a broadcast communication during the process of letting an employee go. This communication should explain more about the background to the decision, taking responsibility and sharing in the pain which such decisions cause for the individual, their family and the wider community, if the firm is a large local employer.”

“Technology is a facilitator of communications, but just because we can, does not mean we should. Leaders need to leverage technology while not losing sight of the humans who are receiving such messages. A broadcast message ensures everyone receives the same message, at the same time, but its strength is its weakness, as not every individual is the same. For some a redundancy may be welcome news, for others a mild disappointment, while for many it provokes both a financial and personal crisis.”

“At present, leaders have little training on digital communications and few organisations have protocols. As we move forward in 2022, business schools need to look again at what a leader in a hybrid world looks like and adjust what they teach. Meanwhile, organisations must look critically at their processes to ensure they still concentrate on the people which make up their organisation, putting into place support mechanisms such as workplace and career transition coaching, to help their employees navigate recent years’ life changes.”

Paul Holcroft, Associate Director at Croner, suggests: “Being made redundant can be an incredibly distressing time, so it is essential that employers maintain regular dialogue with affected staff.”

“Given the complexity of a redundancy procedure, employers should provide individuals with a clear explanation of their rights and a timeframe for when decisions will be made. This reduces any unnecessary stress and ill feeling among the workforce. Employees with a minimum of two years’ service are eligible for a reasonable amount of time off to look for new work or to arrange training for future employment.”

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The pandemic has stifled their career

According to a recent by Indeed, findings are on par with what HR experts know about Gen Z leading the Great Reshuffle. Likewise, the report builds on previous data wherein Gen Z feels disconnected and disadvantaged due to working remotely. In February 2022, Washington State University’s Carson College of Business reported that most of their Gen Z survey-takers felt that the COVID-19 pandemic stifled their career.

Indeed’s May 2022 report contextualizes these concerns with a fresh spin. Simply put, just because Gen Z feels as if they’re missing out on office work does not mean they want to start working in the office full time, if at all.

Flexibilty, as well as other perks, remains one of the ways employers can help attract and retain their young talent. Indeed’s research highlights that explicitly with the report finding that 95% of Gen Zers are considering a job with more work-from-home flexibility and 78% are actively looking for one.

Just less than half (47%) of Gen Z responders told Indeed they’re very likely to change jobs within the next 12 months, more than the slightly older cohort, millennials. Of those Gen Zers making moves to jump ship, 61% were driven by employers’ implementation of a return-to-office plan conflicting with their work from home desires.

Despite their concern, for example, more than half of Gen Zers interviewed by talent acquisition firm Lee Hecht Harrison reported career anxiety, young professionals don’t appear to be compromising on their values anytime soon. In fact, they want employers whose moral code matches theirs.

In summary, employers have two sure fire ways of attracting and retaining talent: Offer work flexibility and find define the employer brand so that candidates are attracted to who you are, not just what you do.

 

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Companies need to build wellness culture into business

There is no doubt that the thought of returning to work-life after COVID-19 is filling many employees with dread. More than two years of pandemic related uncertainty and stress have taken their toll on employees’ mental health.

Lockdowns sent us into survival mode, and it is only now, as life starts to get back to normal, that we begin to process the reality of what we’ve been through. There may still be safety concerns. Cognitively, employees may feel safe, but they may not feel emotionally safe. In addition, new habits have had two years to develop, and they may be a challenge to break.

But there are practical reasons too. A recent survey of 1,000 workers conducted by messaging app Slack suggests that almost two in five workers are stressed or anxious about going back to the office after more than two years at home. Concerns about work-life balance, the cost of travel and food were among the reasons for their stress.

The study revealed that 75% of workers had experienced burnout, and one-third had put in extra hours.

The study also found that only two in five respondents think their employers value their mental health, indicating how essential it is for businesses to provide more help.

Employers need to recognise and empathise with the different reasons that workers may be reluctant or anxious to return to the office.

Seventy percent of respondents agreed that a four-day workweek would help their mental health and wellbeing. Almost 50% believe that a hybrid work situation is the best approach for mental health, yet only 25% can choose whether or not they will work in the office.

Chris Mills, of Slack, said: “An employee who is cared for and supported will be inspired to do their best work.”

“It’s positive to see UK workers highlighting that hybrid work and technology has an important part to play in their wellbeing.”

“To ensure technology continues to be an enabler of healthier workplaces, leaders can also set a good example. Building best practices, for instance on how to use features like ‘do not disturb’ and scheduled messages to avoid out of office messaging, can be a great place to start.”

Charlène Gisèle, High Performance Coach and Burnout Advisor: “It is more important than ever for employers to integrate and incorporate a wellness culture embedded within the company. Offering wellness solutions goes beyond a gym membership – instead fostering a wellness culture is what a company ought to aim for.

Instead of focusing on concerns employees can focus on the positive aspects of being back in the office: camaraderie, being able to see colleagues again, and having social work life back on the horizon are all great for mental health as opposed to social/work isolation which many employees have faced during lockdown.”

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18% of employees will take a pay-cut to work for an NPO 

According to Aviva’s recent How We Live report, almost two thirds of workers (64%) would consider taking a pay cut if a new role offered other benefits with more than a fifth of workers (22%) stating they would think about taking a lower salary if they had the option to do hybrid working, while almost a third (31%) would do the same if they were able to choose flexible working hours. 

Almost a fifth of workers (18%) reported that they would be prepared to take a wage cut if they were going to work for a charity or not-for-profit organisation and 15% would do so if the company had strong environmental credentials. This view is higher amongst under-25s, with a quarter of people in this age group saying they would consider a lower salary for these reasons. 

Aviva’s previous How We Live report (November 2021) discovered two thirds of employees intend to make changes to their careers in the next 12 months. 

Aside from potential pay-cuts, the study found that around three fifths (58%) of UK workers would consider changing their current role for a “greener” career. 

The study suggested that this attitude is more prevalent in some sectors than others, with workers in finance and engineering / building among those most likely to hold this view at 70% in both cases. 

Industry   Percentage of workers who would consider switching to a “green” career 
Finance  70% 
Architecture, engineering and building  70% 
IT and telecoms  69% 
Legal  64% 
Manufacturing and utilities  63% 
Healthcare  58% 
Education  58% 
Retail, catering and leisure  57% 
Travel and transport  54% 

Green schemes in the workplace 

However, there is increasing evidence that employers are becoming greener with three quarters of workers saying their employer has made changes to improve its environmental impact in the last five years – although 75% of people within this group feel there is still more to do. 

More than a fifth (21%) of workers say they are already participating in initiatives to make their employer more environmentally-friendly, while an additional 50% of employees would like to get more involved in this area. 

The report also reported welcomed news regarding the uptake of existing “green” schemes with current employers with the majority of employees saying that their organisations offer some initiatives aimed at reducing their impact on the planet, ranging from cycle-to-work programmes, to removing single-use plastic from workplaces, to electric vehicle leasing schemes. 

 

Workplace scheme for employees  Percentage of employees saying scheme is offered at their workplace  Estimated number of UK employees able to make use of such a scheme*  
Cycle-to-work / bike loan scheme  68%  22.1 million 
Subsidised public transport / loans for transport season tickets  60%  19.5 million 
Removing single-use plastic from the workplace  77%  25 million 
Paperless office  71%  23.1 million 
Vegan / vegetarian options in workplace canteens  70%  22.7 million 
Hybrid / remote working (to reduce commuter pollution)  67%  21.8 million 
Making use of video calls to reduce unnecessary travel  79%  25.7 million 
Using refillable cups for drinks  85%  27.6 million 
Volunteering through environmentally-friendly workplace schemes  60%  19.5 million 
Electrical vehicle (EV) leasing scheme  55%  17.9 million 

Jon Marsh, MD, Partnerships, Aviva General Insurance says:“Sustainability is very much on the radar for businesses large and small and it is positive news that so many UK people are bringing green thinking into their working routines, as well as their personal lives.  

“The latest How We Live data shows that a great many employees are already involved in environmental initiatives in their workplace – from simply re-using cups, to limiting unnecessary travel, to making use of electric vehicle leasing schemes.   

“Three quarters of workers acknowledge that their employer has made environmental progress in the past five years – but they want to do more to make a difference. This could mean actions taken in a current role or switching to a position with a more environmental focus – but the emphasis on green career ambitions is clear.” 

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68% admitted that they are concerned it will have a negative impact on their career 

According to new research from people analytics company Visier, more than three quarters (76%) of Brits have admitted they’ve been ghosted by an employer or prospective employer in the past 18 months, despite over half (59%) having ghosted themselves.

The study asked 1,000 UK employees who have looked for work during in the past 18 months about their experiences with ghosting, using Psychology Today’s definition of the term as ‘abruptly ending communication with someone without explanation’ in association with the workplace from recruitment through to starting a new role.

The survey’s findings indicated that ghosting has become an accepted phenomenon in the workplace, with 37% of Brits admitting to ghosting an employer in the last 18 months, 30% ghosting a potential employer and 10% to both. This is despite more than a third of Brits stating that they’d be angrier if an employer or prospective employer ghosted them, than they would be if they were stood up by a date.

Hypocritical Britain 

Study results insinuate that employees are perpetuating the poor behaviours they hate from their prospective employer counterparts because when it comes to these behaviours, job seekers’ willingness to ghost increased steadily with job level seniority, which, the study suggests means that the more senior the worker, the more comfortable they are with ghosting their current or prospective employer.

According to results, the highest levels reported that they had ghosted a current or prospective employer within the last 18 months: C-Suite (95%), mid-level management (84%), first-level management (67%), entry-level (48%).

Professional ‘Ghosters’ 

The research also served as a stark reminder that ghosting is no new fad. It’s been around for some time and it’s a trend that is likely to pertain, especially as an increasingly buoyant labour market and skills shortages across almost every industry place more power into the hands of employees. In fact, some 61% of job seekers say they feel perfectly comfortable with ghosting an employer or prospective employer.

And, with more job opportunities available because of the hybrid working model (46%), a less personal recruitment process (45%) and the fact that ghosting is so common (37%), job seekers admitted in the survey that the pandemic has made them more likely to partake in ghosting.

The challenge for employers in the current candidate-driven market is that the right position, right salary and good company culture are not enough. The interview itself must be a top-notch experience to attract prospective candidates to a company. A negative first impression (25%) was cited as the number one reason job seekers have ghosted their employer or prospective employer, followed closely by the job role being inaccurate (24%) and a lower salary than expected (24%).

In spite of Brits’ willingness to engage in ghosting, the survey revealed that an overwhelming 68% admitted that they are concerned about the negative impact it may have on them and their career. It’s clear that a level of cognitive dissonance is at play. Despite understanding the potential negative impacts of doing this, job seekers at all levels are willing to do it anyway.

Daniel Mason, VP EMEA of Visier commented: “As recruitment teams continue to rethink their hiring strategies in line with the ‘Great Resignation’ now is the time to also implement measures that can reduce the fallout of job seeker ghosting. Embedding people data into every stage of the recruitment and employee engagement process is one way that recruitment teams can interest potential candidates and retain them. For example, by using data to highlight at which stage a job seeker is most likely to leave the recruitment process, more emphasis can be placed on improving the overall experience based on what the data is telling us prospective employers expect”.

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The top job on the list isn’t what you’d expect

Glassdoor, the global insight business on jobs and companies, has released the 25 Best Jobs in the UK list for 2022.

The curated list combines salaries and overall job satisfaction ratings taken from hundreds of thousands of employee reviews on Glassdoor along with the number of job openings to create an overall Glassdoor Job Score.

Tech trumps

Top job on the list is a Java Developer with a Glassdoor Job Score of 4.6, having first appeared on the 2021 Best Jobs list in 25th place. The role is one of 11 STEM (science, tech, engineering, maths) jobs featured on the 2022 list and is reflective of the industry’s ability to offer a good work/life balance and flexible work options. These are factors that Glassdoor research has shown to positively impact employee happiness. However, just one in four STEM roles are held by women but is predicted to increase to 30% by 2030.

The top earning job on the list is the Enterprise Manager with an average salary of £73,898 while a Corporate Recruiter ranks the best for job satisfaction (4.6). The most in-demand job is a Software Engineer with 3,599 active job openings which indicates the need for businesses across all industries to accelerate digital transformations to stay relevant in the increasingly digital world.

The top ten Best Jobs in the UK for 2022 are:

  1. Java Developer (4.60 Glassdoor Job Score / 71% remote job openings)
  2. Enterprise Architect (4.59 / 91%)
  3. Product Manager (4.58 / 88%)
  4. Full Stack Engineer (4.55/ 92%)
  5. Data Scientist (4.54 / 88%)
  6. HR Manager (4.53 / 87%)
  7. Corporate Recruiter (4.52 / 83%)
  8. HR Business Partner (4.49 / 92%)
  9. Front End Engineer (4.48 / 76%)
  10. Marketing Manager (4.48 / 79%)

Hybrid working wins

According to the survey, hybrid work policies remain important to UK workers. In Glassdoor employee reviews, discussions on the topic soared over 1,000 percent in 2021, so the survey infers that all the roles on the Best Jobs list offer high levels of remote working.

Job vacancies remain at an all-time high and subsequently Glassdoor expects hiring will remain challenging through 2022 and this has resulted in companies paying more attention to the employee experience and putting it at the heart of business operations. As a result, findings from the Best Jobs list saw more HR and recruitment roles than last year (#6 HR Manager, #7 Corporate Recruiter and #8 HR Business Partner) as companies look for better ways to attract and retain their talent as well as to sustain better ways of working in the newly-shaped working landscape.

There were six new roles added to the rankings in this year’s report: #7 Corporate Recruiter, #11 UX Designer, #17 Software Engineer, #22 Finance Manager, #24 Consultant and #25 Procurement Agent.

There were also six roles that were removed from the top 25 in 2022. They are: Dentist (former #3), Tax Manager (former #7), Commercial Manager (former #9), Risk Manager (former #13), Information Security Engineer (former #18), and Site Manager (former #24).

Glassdoor economist Lauren Thomas commented: “Glassdoor’s Best Jobs list is reflective of the wider workplace trends we are currently seeing in the UK. Employees want more hybrid working and a better work/life balance ­– areas which technology and STEM roles have historically excelled in. HR positions are also well represented on the list as the current tightness of the labour market has forced employers to rethink their investment in employee experience.”

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Employers must adapt to hybrid working to stave off loss of talent

An employee benefits survey conducted by London- and Machester-based tech recruitment firm Burns Sheehan, PixelMax, has revealed that only 4% of employees want to return to the office full time, 82% of employees prefer a hybrid model while 59% rate work-from-home flexibility as the number one choice in employee benefits. Following these findings, PixelMax, a British tech company believes that the virtual workplace is the solution to stemming the supposed “Great Resignation”.

They say that survey results show that if employers don’t empower their employees and adapt to rapidly changing working landscapes, they will lose their existing talent and fail to attract new talent.

The Great Resignation continues to make headline news since record numbers of staff are reported to either leave, walk out of their jobs voluntarily, or opt to work part time as they re-evaluate their work/life balance following the turmoil of the pandemic.

Other results to come out of the employee benefits survey found that 25% of those polled wanted a learning and development budget, 22% a clearly defined career path, 19% favouring an annual bonus, 17% wanting childcare flexibility and least important, 12% wanting share options.

During the pandemic, employees were just expected to adapt to a new regime of working fully remotely, with employers not aware of the consequences and underlying issues that would affect their employees. Many were suffering from Zoom and Teams fatigue, isolation, burnout, disengagement with their office workplace and a lack of social interaction with colleagues. This in itself brought to the surface many issues of wider mental health aspects and well-being, with many employers not understanding how this was impacting on their workforce. Many employees complained of not being able to detach themselves from their work and home life and feeling that they were not able to switch off, while others missed the office culture. The culmination of these issues resulted in the Big Resignation.

Rob Hilton CEO and Co-Founder of PixelMax, commented: “In order for business and industry to retain the best talent, they need to rethink the workplace environment. It needs to reflect a modern hybrid of the office and remote working from any location but interconnected within a platform that is engaging to all employees and makes them feel connected to their work colleagues, whether that be in the physical sense in the office or from their remote location.”

Employers need to radically rethink how to manage staff both in an office environment and remotely. Throughout the pandemic, employers were slow to adapt the workplace environment and to understand the wider issues their employees were facing in remote working environments. If employers don’t act quickly, they will get left behind because hybrid working is expected by employees.

Burns Sheehan Co-Founder, Jon Sheehan, also weighed in: “The tech hiring market has been the busiest Burns Sheehan have ever seen. I’ve never seen anything like this in the market before; most candidates will have four to five job opportunities and firm job offers on the go within 24 hours. This isn’t even about bigger salaries; that’s just a side perk. Employees are much more focussed on their work-life balance and wider aspirations in the working environment.

“This is very much an employees’ market, driven by employees calling the shots. Many are opting for a virtual workplace model, where they have the option to work from home and the office of their choosing, but also still to remain connected to the office environment even whilst working remotely. If employers don’t embrace this new model of working, then the ones who have adapted quickly to change will have the commercial advantage of hiring and retaining the best talent.”

 

 

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Mass exodus of workers expected by June

“The Great Resignation” continues to make the news with new research from talent solutions agency Robert Half finding that 32% of employees will search for a new role in the first six months of the year.

According to new research from the specialist talent solutions nearly a third (32%) of employees will search for a new role between January and June this year – the equivalent to 9.4 million workers across the UK.

Analysis of Robert Half’s internal data revealed that job applications surged in Q1 for the past five yearsand this year looks to be no different. According to findings, nearly a quarter of candidates (23%) will begin their new job search in the next three months – with trend data suggesting that the uptick usually begins in the third week of January.

The research found that around two fifths (42%) of workers seeking new employment are looking for a higher salary, but money is not the only factor they’re considering. In order to retain staff employers should focus on career progression opportunities and benefits which are triggers for 25% and 21% of jobseekers respectively.

Aquent, the innovative recruitment agency for creative, digital and marketing roles have announced the results of its 2021 Talent Insights Report and the key takeaway from the report echoes that of Robert Half’s research: There is going to be a significant impact on the post-pandemic supposed “Great Resignation” and the driving factors are access to flexible working and increased salaries.

Following the rise of hybrid working throughout the pandemic, 24% of those looking for a new role are seeking more flexibility in their working arrangements on a permanent basis. The findings reiterate what we already know that is that flexible working is an essential offering if employers want to attract and retain their talent.

But it must be stated that dissatisfaction with remuneration, opportunities and working arrangements are not the only push factors for employees, the study found. The pandemic had 23% of job-seekers saying lockdown gave them time to re-evaluate priorities, with more than one in five (22%) saying they want to change career path or move into an entirely different field. Aquent’s findings also reflect this and worryingly, job dissatisfaction increased to almost 33% in 2020 and 2021, compared to 22% in 2019. This unhappiness was most likely influenced by poor leadership and layoffs. While trying to find a new work-life balance in the middle of a global pandemic, talent was frequently expected to maintain the same level of production, if not more, especially for middle-management roles (VP, Director, Manager). Talent in this category are facing increased pressure from above and below, with 54% to 59% of middle-management employees considering leaving their role in the next three to six months.

It remains a candidates’ market with the industry seeing a dramatic shift in what talent expects from their employers. Over the past few years, the job market has seen an unprecedented shift towards employees expecting more from their employers, and they are showing more confidence to leave if they don’t get it.  Although the number of people actively looking for a new role in 2021 has fallen by 10% compared to a year ago, talent are clearly still in the driver’s seat as millions of job openings remain vacant.

Aquent’s survey revealed that candidates are now choosing flexible working arrangements almost as much as higher compensation (28%). Further, career advancement slipped from a high of 25% last year to 17%, indicating changing priorities post-pandemic.

Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half, commented on the findings: “While we always experience a sharp increase in job applications at the start of each year, we are anticipating unprecedented levels of UK workers looking for a new job this year. Despite an uptick in the number of employees looking for a new role, demand from employers will still outstrip supply – placing the cards firmly in the hands of candidates.”

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58% of remote workforce believe resilience is a key skill  

According to a survey by workingmums.co.uk in partnership with The Changing Work Company, 80% of regular remote workers have not been promoted since beginning remote work with 44% having not been given access to changing.

The qualitative survey highlighted the experience of respondents who were working remotely or in a hybrid manner (half of whom did so before the pandemic) and its aim is to give those workers a voice on how to improve the new and different ways of working.

The study found that most respondents worked for smaller companies with under 250 employees with figures showing that smaller companies were more likely to offer remote working. Just less than half (41%) worked for companies with fewer than 25 employees and 20% for employers with between 26 and 250 employees.

The top reason for choosing to work remotely was better work/ balance according to 28% of respondents, with COVID-19 and carer responsibilities other reasons given. Just under a third of survey respondents (30%) said they found it difficult or very difficult (8%) to negotiate remote working.

Results also showed that employers didn’t ask advice from those who’d been working remotely pre-pandemic and could have benefited from doing so in order to do it better.

More than two thirds of respondents (68%) had not been asked about their experience of working from home to help others who switched during the pandemic.

Participants were also asked what helped them when it came to isolation at home. Keeping in touch, planning social interactions outside work and keeping to a routine were popular choices. To keep in touch one respondent had started a virtual lunch chat. Others had created Teams chats and other forums for communication.

Asked what skills respondents believe are needed to work remotely successfully:

  • 85% answered that self-motivation is a vital skill
  • 68% answered that independent thinking is important and
  • 58% responded that resilience is a key skill.

The majority of respondents (74%) said they had honed these skills through remote working and 22% had developed them due to homeworking.

The survey asked what would improve their situation and respondents stated that better communication and appreciation of what they do would do so, while 58% felt as valued and listened to as office-based people, the rest mostly didn’t or were unsure.

Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People, the umbrella group for  workingmums.co.uk,  workingdads.co.uk  and  workingwise.co.uk, commented: “We know that employers who seek feedback from their employees through employee network groups or other forums, listen to what they are saying and take action are the most innovative and attractive and have the highest engagement scores. Too often remote workers have been left to their own devices to make the best of remote working, but this one-sided approach means neither the employee nor the employer overcomes the biggest challenges or reaps the full benefits.”

Bridget Workman of The Changing Work Company also commented: “68% of those surveyed said their employers had not asked them to share their knowledge to help colleagues suddenly switching to homeworking nor have they been consulted for their special insights on how to make the hybrid mix of office, home and remote working work. Although usually provided with equipment, the majority had to learn the hard way, through trial and error, having received no training. They know the pitfalls and have learned the necessary skills and tricks through their own resourcefulness and resilience.”

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