Hybrid working preferred by two-thirds of Brits

Two-thirds (66%) of those who currently work at home say they prefer this to a full-time in-person office work model and a quarter (25%) will look for a new job if forced back into the office. RingCentral is urging leaders to ensure their teams have the tools and resources they need to maintain a flexible, hybrid approach to work.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) 791,000 Brits in the UK moved jobs from April to June 2021. This equates to 2.6% of the UK’s workforce - the highest total since March 2019 and before that, the highest in a decade.

RingCentral’s data suggests that younger people may in fact be leading the recent wave of resignations. Almost a third (32%) of those aged 21-24 plan to leave their place of employment, with a further 27 per cent planning to leave in the next six months. Further, a third (33%) of millennials (25-34) will look for a new job if their employer changes their work model to a more in-person approach. Those aged 25-34 were also 1.5 times more likely than those in the 45-54 age group, to claim that their career aspirations have changed during the pandemic. The younger workforce is nearly three times (2.8 times) more likely than the older segments to suggest that they are now more career-focused.

Alongside the convenience and flexibility of working from home, social anxiety is driving reticence to return to in-person working models. Half (52%) of Brits claim that there are now colleagues in their workplace that they haven’t met in person. Among this group, 47 per cent say that they feel anxiety about meeting these new colleagues face-to-face. 75 per cent of the workforce believes that those who return to in-person workplace models should be vaccinated.

Steve Rafferty, Country Manager, UK and Ireland, RingCentral said, “more often than not, the workforce is a company’s most valuable asset and this is why the Great Resignation has been such a concern. It’s all very well to flippantly say that workers should ‘get off their Pelotons’ and return to the office, but for many individuals, the introduction of a hybrid working model has been a lifeline. Giving people the flexibility to manage work around other commitments helps to boost work-life balance and supports those who may have challenges such as mental health concerns. What’s more, the last 18 months have proven that with the right collaboration tools, it is possible not only to build highly productive teams but also meaningful human connections with colleagues to generate positive working relationships. One way or another, the data is clear: if businesses want to retain their staff, they need to offer an environment that caters to modern needs.”

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