New Research: Hybrid Working Arrangements Retain Younger Staff

Remote or hybrid working arrangements have played an integral part in retaining younger employees during the Coronavirus pandemic.

A recent survey conducted by employee benefits provider Unum looked into attitudes to work and employee support, to determine if employers have helped their workforce cope with the challenges of Covid-19 and if their measures have led to staff loyalty and happiness at work.

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[Related reading: Employee Wellbeing Initiatives Likely To Boost Talent Retention Levels]

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More Than Half Of Younger Employees Prefer Flexible Working Arrangements

Out of 2,000 UK adults surveyed, more than half (54%) of employees aged 18-34 said they would probably quit if their company stopped offering remote or hybrid working. 

From the same age group, almost 6 in 10 (58%) considered themselves more productive now than before the pandemic. On a broader scope, 1 in 5 (21%) of employees across all age groups felt happier with the flexible working arrangements provided to them during the pandemic. 

Interestingly, when asked why they chose to stay in the same role they were in before the pandemic, 55% of respondents said the main reason was that their employer has handled the pandemic well. 

Whilst the hybrid working model topped the factors for retaining staff, other employee benefits are also a deciding factor. With almost a quarter (23%) of employers switching jobs, or have considered doing so, during the pandemic because their organisation did not provide high quality benefit packages or support. Even more telling, a further 1 in 5 (21%) specifically wanted to have wellbeing benefits and support packages that can be accessed remotely. 

In further findings, 19% observed that their company culture has improved since the onset of the pandemic. Contrastingly, 21% felt that their employers failed to support their mental health, while 22% believed that their physical health were not taken care of. 

Quality Of Benefits & Wellbeing Support Matter

All this comes against the backdrop of what has been the most challenging 18 months for decades, with employers struggling to attract and retain staff across many industries. From April to June this year, there were 294,000 people who left their jobs. It is the highest number since 2018 and has increased by 38% in the previous quarter based on data from the Office of National Statistics.

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[Related reading: Majority Of Employers Want To Be Seen As Caring]

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According to Mark Till, Unum UK chief executive, while salary still factors into decision-making over potential job moves, the research proves just how much value employees place on the quality of benefits and wellbeing support being provided. He added that businesses cannot have one without the other.

“The workforce, in particular younger employees, belonging to this new hybrid world have made job expectations crystal clear. A combination of agile benefits, mental and physical support and a sense of autonomy and trust is the only way businesses will keep their staff loyal, happy, engaged and successful in the long run,” Till remarked.

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Does your organisation offer remote or hybrid working arrangements? Are there other employee benefit programs you would like to explore or are not sure of, particularly for younger talent acquisition and retention? If so, now is the best time for your business to rethink the way you provide the benefits that will make your employees stay, become loyal and happy at work.