According to research by Owl Labs, 65 percent of UK employees would take a pay cut for a four-day work week.

It was also reported that over a third of UK workers would decline a job if they were not offered flexible hours. Clearly, flexible is the new hybrid.

Offering flexibility is key to retaining top talent in 2022 and beyond. It will prove key to preventing employees from driving the ‘Great Resignation’ – with nearly one in three (31%) employees changing jobs in the past two years and a quarter (25%) of employees actively seeking a new opportunity in 2022.

“As we enter into this next phase of work, it’s clear that employers in the UK can no longer simply offer hybrid work as an option – they need to provide flexibility to retain employees and keep them happy,” says CEO of Owl Labs, Frank Weishaupt.

So, what are the most effective ways of doing this?

 

Proximity bias

It is important to be aware of proximity bias, which is creeping into the workplace. Nearly half (47%) of UK employees believe that proximity bias exists.

What’s more, over half (54%) of employees are more likely to ask the opinion or engage with those they physically work with over those who are remote.

 

The possibility of the ‘Great Retention’ in 2022

To prevent the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021 continuing to spill into 2022, employers need to implement thoughtful retention strategies. The pandemic has caused a shift in encouraging an employee-first mentality for businesses.

As a result, companies have started to introduce forward-looking work benefits: 14 percent introduced a four-day work week, 19 percent introduced condensed hours during the pandemic, and 26 percent introduced flexible working hours.

 

Flexible is the new hybrid

Job seekers would most likely decline a job offer if they were not given flexible hours (37%), if they were required to work in the office full-time (34%), or if they were not given flexibility over their working location (34%).

On average Brits want to spend three days in the office and two days working remotely – but they still want the choice of when they do so.

“As we enter into this next phase of work, it’s clear that employers in the UK can no longer simply offer hybrid work as an option – they need to provide flexibility to retain employees and keep them happy,” says Weishaupt.

The shift to flexible work takes thoughtful and purposeful planning, yet only 36 percent of employees believe that their managers received hybrid or remote management training. A further 16 percent believe they should receive more training in the future.

As Weishaupt highlights, it is “vital that managers take accountability to ensure they are properly trained on how to effectively manage hybrid teams.”

With the Great Resignation continuing, employers should think seriously about whether offering a four-day week is feasible to retain their top talent in the age of the Great Resignation.

“It’s clear from our research that employees are demanding more from their employers when it comes to overall job satisfaction. Offering a wide range of benefits has never been more important as workers are open to exploring alternative employers that offer a better balance,” says Weishaupt.