A third would quit their job if they had to return to office full-time
22nd November 2022

Flexible working weeks – part in the office and part at home – are now very much the norm for much of the UK workforce.

And it seems going back into the office full-time is simply not an option for many employees.

New research from LinkedIn has revealed more than a third (34%) of workers would quit their job if they were told to return to the office full-time.

This study comes at a telling time, with three in 10 (31%) UK companies planning to send their employees who are currently working from home back to the office, due to ‘productivity paranoia’ – according to the data.

But more than half (58%) of employees say they would, in fact, be less productive at work if flexibility policies were to be scaled back.

Digging into the specifics, 29% of employees want to work in a hybrid capacity. But, interestingly, it’s the older workforce who are more eager than other colleagues to do so, with three in 10 (30%) workers aged 55 and over wanting to continue hybrid working – compared to just a quarter (25%) of Gen Z.

Despite this, nearly half (49%) of companies say they would prefer employees to work more frequently from the office.

Charlotte Davies, a career expert at LinkedIn says: ‘We’ve become accustomed to working flexibly since the pandemic and proven we’re able to do so with little to no impact on productivity levels.

‘Coupled with the recent success of the four-day working week trial, there’s clear proof that people are motivated by flexibility. 

‘Yet, economic uncertainty is threatening to wind back progress in this area as companies navigate tough times, and employees are clearly concerned about the impact this will have on work life balance and their motivation levels.’

How to manage conversations about flexibility with your boss:

Charlotte has shared her advice on how to approach and effectively manage tricky conversations around flexibility with your boss – and offered the below tips:

Lean on your professional community

‘If you’re having these discussions at work, you can bet others are too. Your LinkedIn network is there to support you, so don’t be afraid to turn to them for advice.

‘Remember, it doesn’t have to be a post – you can start a private conversation in direct messages.’

Research and rehearse

‘Before meeting with your current or potential future employer, it’s important to do your research so that you can have an informed discussion.

‘Whether it’s flexibility, compressed hours or more opportunities for professional development, be clear on what you’re asking and what others in the industry are offering.’

Appeal to your employer

‘Part of your prep should include thinking about the benefits to both sides – this goes for any conversation when you’re asking your employer to invest in you, particularly at a moment in time when they are having to make tough financial decisions.

‘Remind your employer that you’re typically more productive when able to work flexibly and why that is. Explain why investing in your development can help benefit the business in a new area and demonstrate your own efforts to do that.’

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