Hybrid working is now a must for companies that want to retain their top talent in a climate where millions of people are considering leaving their roles. Here, we explain why.
In August 2021, the US observed a record number of resignations, with 4.3 million employees leaving their jobs across the nation.
Meanwhile, in the UK, almost a quarter of workers are currently considering whether they want to change jobs. New research from Randstad UK found that 69% of Brits are confident about finding a new position within the next few months (compared to the typical annual figure of 11%). Furthermore, only 16% of those surveyed say they are worried they won’t find a new role.
This remarkable new trend has become known as the ‘Great Resignation’.
The pandemic has also caused people to reevaluate their priorities in life, including their career aspirations. And the past 18 months have encouraged them to redress aspects of their lifestyle they would like to change moving forwards. For businesses, the Great Resignation presents a major challenge, especially when one considers that it is estimated that the average replacement cost of a salaried employee is six to nine months’ salary.
Hybrid working – where employees divide their working hours between a local flexible office space, home and their business’s headquarters – is a vital tool in helping companies reimagine their culture so that it is more in step with employees’ values and what they want out of their working lives.
And it could be a vital tool when it comes to talent retention. Here’s how…
It offers ultimate flexibility
The hybrid model is about offering workers choice over where and how they work, the value of which cannot be underestimated. Recent research from IWG found that, given the choice, 72% of employees would prefer the option of hybrid working over a full-time return to the office, even if that came with a 10% pay rise.
Recognising that staff are looking for more than remuneration is vital for businesses hoping to ride out the Great Resignation, and developing a hybrid working strategy is a strong place to start.
It improves people’s work-life balance
Companies that show employees they value and respect their personal time will have a competitive advantage over those that don’t. A recent report from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that almost half of working mothers in the UK had requests for flexible working either turned down or partially accepted. If staff have to choose between their work and family, their hands are tied.
Such measures also fail to recognise people’s existence beyond their job title. By empowering staff to cut out the daily commute to a city centre, and access flexible workspace in their local area, companies are granting their teams more hours in the day to balance domestic duties, personal passions and social lives, which contributes towards job satisfaction.
It’s better for staff wellbeing
To combat the Great Resignation, companies must also consider the value of mental health. A report from Envoy found 78% of employees in the UK have felt close to experiencing burn-out since March 2020, while researchers estimate that more than one in four adults in the US have symptoms of depression – a dramatic increase from before the pandemic.
Businesses can show compassion and support for staff who are struggling by giving them more choice over where they work through a hybrid working strategy. It may win back valued employees who have been too stretched during Covid-19, causing them to look for a new role without the added stress of commuting.
It provides social interaction
Working from home can be convenient, especially for parents, but a recent study showed that more than a fifth of workers felt isolated working from home every day during the pandemic, and this affected their wellbeing.
The good thing about showing up at a company HQ or flexspace during the week is it gives people the chance to collaborate and socialise, and escape some of the distractions of homelife. What’s more, dedicated coworking spaces are well equipped with ergonomic furniture, super-fast Wi-Fi and meeting rooms, all of which aids productivity.
Retaining and hiring the best talent can be a huge drain on time and resources, and the Great Resignation poses some serious challenges for companies of all sizes. The ones that embrace hybrid working will be at an advantage, both in the race for talent and keeping their best people.
Concerned about the Great Resignation? Find out how hybrid working could be the solution your company is looking for.