Tag: Remote Working

17% of workers say employers are too flexible

Over a third (35%) of UK workers are willing to take a pay cut to work remotely permanently revealed research by Reed.co.uk, a UK jobs and careers site.

The researched canvassed 2,000 full or part-time employed workers and aimed to explore post-pandemic employee preferences and sentiment towards flexible working. It confirmed the strength of opinion in favour of remote working, with almost one in five workers (19%) believing their employer is not flexible enough with 17% of those surveyed saying their employer is too flexible. This implies that these respondents would prefer to be in the office more than they’re currently being offered.

The number of workers (36%) who believe their employer is not providing a fair balance between remote and office working is equal to the number of workers (37%) who say that their employer has got it “just right”. The findings indicated a clear divide between workers in their post-pandemic working preferences.

These differences are exacerbated among different demographics with 32% of workers aged between 18 and 34 wanting more office-based work, compared to less than 10% of over 45s. Results also revealed that men (21%) are more likely than women (12%) to feel that their employer is too flexible and workers 31% of workers in London wanting to work in the office compared with 9% in Yorkshire.

Flexible working is creating further tensions in the workplace when it comes to wages and career opportunities with over a quarter (26%) of respondents feeling that full-time office workers should be paid more than those working from home. Twenty-three percent of respondents said that full-time office-based workers should be prioritised for promotion over full-time remote workers, while over a third (37%) said that those working in the office should receive more perks.

Simon Wingate, Managing Director of Reed.co.uk, commented: “While flexible working can seem like an impossible challenge to get right, the key thing is to ensure employees have a certain level of choice and autonomy over how, when and where they spend their working day – keeping in mind the fact that what works for one group of people won’t necessarily work for another.

“In a competitive labour market, businesses must think creatively and listen carefully to their staff to provide a tailored approach that works on both an individual and collective level. This will help to improve their chances of attracting and retaining the best talent.”

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Half of employees don’t want to pay for activities themselves

According to a survey by Just Eat for Business, called The Lunch Break Bonding survey,  the majority of UK workers (82%) want their workplace to provide more team-building events.

Over 200 UK-based organisations were surveyed, and results were segmented by role (executive, management, CEO), region, and business size.

The survey reveals that after 18 months of largely remote working workers are desperate to reunite with their teams with 75% saying they would enjoy their workplace more with more regularly-scheduled team building events. According to results, larger organisations are interested in getting to know their colleagues better with 93% of organisations with 300+ employees wanting more frequent socialising opportunities.

The majority of workers (62%) said they’d enjoy their workplace more with increased team social events in order to create a friendlier working environment. When it comes to how workers like to socialise, the survey found team lunches were the favourite work perk (40%), followed by escape rooms (31%), team vs team competitions (31%), lunch & learns (26%), mixology classes (21%) and quiz or trivia nights (20%).

More than half of office workers (51%) said they were less likely to attend a team building event if they’re required to pay for all or a portion of the cost. Within teams, it’s management-level employees that are the most put off by having to contribute financially.

The study focussed on gaining an understanding of how team building events can improve the workplace. For CEOs and business owners, the most important outcome was creating a friendlier work atmosphere (67%), while executives valued showcasing company culture.

Robin Dunbar, Psychologist at the University of Oxford, comments on the study said: “This whole process of creating a bonded community depends on engagement in various activities, one of which is eating together, and that just creates a sense of belonging. It has huge knock-on consequences for your health, physical health and mental wellbeing, by virtue of forming friendships. In addition, it fosters a sense of loyalty to the organisation.”

Matt Ephgrave, Managing Director of Just Eat for Business also weighed in on the findings.  He said: “It’s encouraging to see that office workers at all levels are eager to increase the frequency and quality of team building activities, particularly given that many organisations are either heading back into the office, or learning to operate remotely.”

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Work-life balance is now a more critical factor to those changing jobs than the salary and benefits on offer, according to new research.

Specialist recruiter Randstad surveyed 9,000 people in the UK and found that 65% now put work-life balance as their top driver when choosing a new employer.

It was the first time in seven years that an attractive salary and benefits hadn’t topped jobseekers’ wishlists, though pay came in a close second at 64%.

Randstad UK CEO Victoria Short said: “In some respects, the profound changes in many people’s jobs has clearly brought the benefits of flexible working to the surface. Our data suggests there are two groups of workers who want to see a more balanced lifestyle here.

“For many, remote working has increased the number of hours they are connected to their employers, reflecting the need for a better lifestyle balance. At the same time, some have benefited from working at home by being able to carry out tasks or juggle personal responsibilities around a more flexible work schedule.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the job losses and widespread use of the furlough scheme since the beginning of the pandemic, job security was still high on the list of priorities at number three (61%).

The final two drivers for those seeking employment were good training at 58% and a pleasant work atmosphere at 55%.

Interestingly, the research revealed there was a disconnect between what employees want and what their employer is offering.

According to Randstad’s evaluation, while employees put work-life balance in the top spot, employers across the UK have it in eighth place.

Short said: “Understanding the gap between what employees want and what they think employers offer provides valuable insight into building a strong employer brand. Benchmarking against what employees perceive being offered by their current employer gives more context to the gaps that need to be bridged in order to create a credible name and the ability to attract the UK’s most sought-after talent.”

Now would seem to be a good time for employers to try to bridge those gaps as the survey also revealed that one-fifth of UK workers were looking to leave their current employment in the next few months.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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