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Work-Life Balance Prioritised: Businesses Warned That Lack of Flexibility Could Lead to Employee Turnover

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Despite ongoing calls from business and government leaders for a reduction in working from home, employees have ranked flexible hours and working location amongst the top benefits they seek from their employers.

Research commissioned by Zoom of 1,000 UK knowledge workers found that flexible hours and scheduling (78%) and flexible work location (69%) were ranked second and fourth as workplace perks. With the cost of living crisis continuing, financial incentives – competitive pay and compensation packages (84%) and competitive benefits (78%) – made up the top four.

The findings, part of Zoom’s Workplace Benefits Preferences Survey in partnership with Morning Consult, found that flexibility is vital for UK knowledge workers. The majority (87%) are more likely to want to work for a company that offers remote or flexible work than one that doesn’t. A similar number (88%) also say that flexible working makes them happier employees, while three quarters (75%) would consider leaving their current role if they could have increased flexibility elsewhere. Around half (52%) see remote and flexible working as a must-have for their roles and 46% see it as a perk.

Phil Perry, Head of EMEA North at Zoom said, “With large numbers of workers ready to switch jobs if they aren’t offered the flexibility they need, businesses that fail to offer a choice on where and how their teams work could be walking into a trap. At a time when many organisations are under pressure to reduce costs while delivering more, being able to offer benefits like flexible working that require little additional investment is a simple way to keep teams happy and motivated.”

Although flexible working is often seen as the preserve of younger generations, the desire for flexible location is balanced across age groups: 69% of Gen Z/Under 30s ranked this as important, compared to 71% of Millennials, 69% of Gen X and 70% amongst Older Gen X/Over 50s (Boomers). Demand for flexible hours is higher amongst Millennials and older generations, given changing life needs – 69% of Gen Z/Under 30s reported this as important, compared to 80% of Millennials, 78% of Gen X and 78% of Older Gen X/Over 50s (Boomers).

The research also suggests that the classic 9-5 model is no longer the most effective way to work, no matter the stage of life the employee is in. Across generations, 92% prefer working hybrid or remotely, compared to 8% who prefer working in the office full time. This figure remains relatively constant across generations:

  • Gen Z/Under 30s: 90% prefer hybrid/remote and 9% in person
  • Millennials: 93% prefer hybrid/remote and 6% in person
  • Gen X: 92% prefer hybrid/remote and 8% prefer in person
  • Older Gen X/Over 50s (Boomers): 90% prefer hybrid/remote and 9% in person.

Perry continues: “Thanks to the technology platforms available, employers can provide their teams with tools that give them the ability to manage work commitments and connect with their colleagues, when and where works best for them. Creating a working style based on individual preference is a priority across generations, and businesses need to avoid one size fits all approaches as they build out workforce strategies. At Zoom, we’ve invested in AI tools such as Zoom IQ to enable employers to manage, coach and mentor their remote workforce much more effectively.”

Zoom allows organisations of all sizes to implement the best tools to enable a hybrid workforce. Whether employees work in an office, remotely, or a combination of both, Zoom’s all-in-one collaboration platform allows businesses to focus on productivity and efficiency while allowing employees the flexibility to work when, how, and where they are most productive without compromising the quality of work or collaboration.

Methodology

This survey was conducted among 4,000 Knowledge Workers across the following markets: US, UK, DE, AUS, SG. Knowledge workers were defined as clerical workers who have full-time jobs in the private sector, in government, or in the non-profit sector.

This survey was fielded among those in the US, UK, DE, AUS, SG from February 3– 24, 2023.  Data in this survey were weighted to match an approximate proportion of knowledge workers per country. The margin of error for this study is +/- 2% for all countries, +/- 3% for the US, UK, and DE, and +/- 4% for AUS and SG. The margin of error is smaller within subgroups.

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