How can businesses manage flexible working when reports show reduction in staff retention?

54% of employees surveyed in the EY 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey would consider leaving their job if some of the flexible working conditions during the pandemic were not kept post-pandemic. The global survey was one of the largest of its kind and over 16,000 employees in multiple industries were asked across 16 countries. The purpose of the survey was to explore what working practice could look like moving forward.

For many industries, full-time working from home for all their staff may not be practical but it’s also undeniable how much has been achieved during this period from employees working from home. For many companies, five days in the office will no longer be the norm, but how important is it to incorporate some of the lessons we’ve learnt during this difficult period? The debate, like many is more nuanced than a simple one rule fits all answer. Before COVID managers were concerned that working from home would reduce productivity and be detrimental to operational working. What we’ve seen so far is that this isn’t the case across the board. IT & Engineering agency Apollo Technical report that home working increased performance by 13% and productivity up to 77%. They explain that some of this is attributed to fewer sick days and breaks while home-working.

Business news analysts Bloomberg reported the short-term effects of working from home needed more research into the wider implications to innovation and cohesion across teams. They also commented on the negative impact of open-plan offices with background noise on productivity. What this means for business owners and recruiters alike is finding a balance that fits your industry and suits your company culture. Staff retention is likely to be influenced if practices that have been working well so far are completely removed but harnessing the positive elements is going to sit well with both managers and employees. A more flexible way of working gives staff the autonomy they need to manage and plan their working weeks while providing a wider talent pool with the opportunity for remote working while diversifying your business. For access to GradLink’s free jobs board and database of the top international students with a UK degree, register today for free!

By Jen Garmston Published: Jul 16,2021