The ‘Great Resignation’ in the UK is still in full effect, with analysis by Deutsche Bank finding that more people left their jobs at the start of 2022 than at any point in the last decade, as a greater focus has been placed on work-life balance post pandemic.
The number of open vacancies in the UK is at its highest point ever, meanwhile, redundancies are at their lowest point since the 90s. With more than three quarters (79%) of UK workers having experienced burnout – 35% experiencing extreme levels according to Ceridian’s annual 2022 Pulse of Talent report – it comes as no surprise that people are willing to leave their jobs in search of a better lifestyle. New landmark research from accountancy and consulting advisory, Theta Global Advisors, echoes this sentiment, finding that 62% of Brits would be happy to compromise their career aspirations in order to preserve their mental health and wellbeing.
Given the unprecedented economic climate, employers are seeking answers to counteract the surge of resignations from their employees. Adopting ways to retain their staff through initiatives such as flexible working arrangements are likely to prove crucial to their bottom line, as recent research from Theta Global Advisors found that 57% of Brits say they do not want the ‘normal’ way of working in a traditional office environment with normal office hours, with 41% of people likely to consider leaving their jobs within the next year. This shared sentiment is forcing companies to trial and adapt new working conditions to suit their employees, with thousands of UK workers testing a four-day working week in the biggest pilot scheme to happen anywhere in the world. The scheme comes after workers and companies were forced to re-examine their working patterns post-pandemic with a substantial rise in hybrid and flexible working hours.
Chris Biggs, partner at consultancy and accounting disruptor Theta Global Advisors comments:
“Post-pandemic, there was a forced re-examination of what a typical work week looks like for employees. After it was proven that productivity could thrive without workers being in the office five days a week, it gave rise to a new wave of flexible working arrangements. The decision to trial the four-day week marks the biggest shift we’ve ever seen towards achieving a better work-life balance across the country. It will be incredibly interesting to see what the results of the pilot are – but I expect that they’ll be positive and illustrate that there is real sense in this as a concept.
“As conversation spreads around the scheme, it will also put pressure on employers to go further in their flexible working offerings. The spotlight is already on this topic with companies now facing real issues in terms of recruiting and retaining staff as a result of there being more job vacancies in the market than ever before.
“The option of having a flexible work schedule has become fundamental for post-pandemic workers. But the big companies have only just begun to offer these benefits to their employees, holding off for so long because of the fear of decreased productivity and therefore a loss in profits.
“At Theta Global Advisors we realise the importance of a reasonable work-life balance and how important flexibility is for workers. We find that this can increase productivity and provide workers with a working environment which they are happy with. The big companies are in a dangerous position where they need to change or could face a mass exodus of talent.”