EY: Many staff would quit if firms fail to show flexibility when office work returns

Employers are facing increased challenges to hold onto staff and that flexibility of the workplace is "the new currency" in hiring and keeping staff
EY: Many staff would quit if firms fail to show flexibility when office work returns

The survey found that most staff  would seek to work between two and three days remotely when the Covid crisis subsides.

Over half of staff say they will quit if their employers fail to provide flexible working when offices reopen after the Covid pandemic, according to a major survey.

The survey by accountancy group EY also found that almost two thirds of employers want mandatory testing as a condition for returning to work. 

Most staff want some sort of flexibility from their employers, and would seek to work between two and three days remotely when the crisis subsides, it found.  

"When pandemic restrictions ease in their countries, 22% would prefer to work full-time in the office, with 33% of employee respondents saying they want a shorter working week altogether," EY said.

"More than half  believe their productivity can be accurately measured irrespective of location."

The survey — the Reimagined Employee Survey — involved 16,000 staff in 16 countries, who work across many job types, including technology, finance, and caregivers. 

Laura Flynn, who is head of people consulting at EY Ireland, said the survey shows employers are facing increased challenges to hold onto staff and that flexibility of the workplace is "the new currency" in hiring and keeping staff.     

"What’s clear however is that flexible working is the new currency in the war for talent,” Ms Flynn said.

Those businesses who want to keep the best people now and into the future will need to make sure that flexible working is central to their talent strategy. 

The survey found that baby boomer staff, people who have worked for the organisation for more than 10 years, and public service and education workers are more likely to stay.

Managers and people working in technology or finance, as well as caregivers, are more likely to leave, although most staff are satisfied with their jobs and plan to stay for the next 12 months, according to the survey.

Employers face more demands for technology at work and at home, with a majority of workers looking for faster internet and videoconferencing in the office.

Almost half of those surveyed want their employers to provide and pay for better monitors, headsets, and expenses to cover the costs of high-speed internet.

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