Frontline workers now hold the power in the turbulent jobs market, according to an annual study by Quinyx.

The UK’s frontline workers are taking back control when it comes to employment, using a volatile market to their advantage and finding jobs that work for them.

The research also found that found that two thirds (67%) of deskless workers are now confident of finding another position quickly based on their skills.

This is a marked increase from 2021 when just 40 percent of non-office-based staff in the UK – from couriers, nurses and warehouse operatives to waiting staff, hauliers and shop assistants – believed they had many job opportunities open to them.

The research found that more than half of frontline staff nationwide (57%) have considered quitting for new roles over the past 12 months.

 

What are the main complaints and concerns of employees?

Only 49 percent of frontline employees have had a pay increase in the last year, and 62 percent say they’ve received no training or educational resources to support their career development.

Also, 41 percent do not feel valued by their employer, and over a third of those (35%) say their boss views them as ‘disposable’.

More than half (51%) say they have experienced understaffing in their workplace in the last 12 months – and 80 percent of those have felt stressed as a result.

Also, 60 percent have been to work sick in the last year as they felt they couldn’t afford to take time off.

Lastly, 64 percent feel uncomfortable speaking to their boss about how work-related stress is impacting their health.

 

Action needed by employers

“There’s continued emphasis on the importance of workplace wellbeing – but this isn’t translating to the experiences of most deskless workers, unfortunately. One of the most heartening stats from our study is that the vast majority of workers – 71 percent – say they take pride in their work,” says Chief HR Officer at Quinyx UK, Toma Pagojute.

“These are the people who have kept everyone going over the last two years; employers need really to up their game and work on strong engagement strategies if they are going to hang onto their greatest assets – their employees,” says Ms Pagojute.

 

What external events have contributed to this?

“Most industries in the UK have been hugely impacted by significant changes in the world including the double whammy of Brexit and Covid, and the current war in Ukraine, resulting in employers now needing frontline workers more than their workers need them. As a result, workers know they can ‘shop around’ in the jobs market – they’re increasingly certain of their own value,” says Ms Pagojute.

“We also know that salary isn’t always the driver behind employees’ choices – they can make decisions based on how happy a job makes them, and whether it fits with their own beliefs. This is promising news for the workforce in redressing some balance – traditionally, it’s been businesses with the upper hand,” adds Ms Pagojute.

Ms Pagojute continues: “However, additional findings from our study indicate that employers aren’t yet realising they need to work hard to retain staff.

“Deskless workers, across all sectors, are still experiencing a lack of flexibility at work, no pay rises and feeling like they’re not valued. Our stats suggest they’re not going to stick around, and companies have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to talent retention.”

“There are obviously more practicalities to consider with flexibility for deskless staff, particularly in customer-facing roles, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for it being non-existent.”