More than a third of employees quit if called back to the office after the first lockout

More than a third of staff have said they would quit if ordered to return to the office full-time, as changes to pandemic-era working life remain in vogue three years after Britain was first locked down.

A job market study conducted by LinkedIn found that businesses are right to prioritize flexibility, despite fears that their workers are secretly slacking off from the comfort of their bedrooms.

Nearly two-thirds of employees are considering changing jobs in 2023, but one-fifth will stay in their current role if they can maintain the ability to work remotely or have more flexibility.

But jobseekers hoping to work from home in a new role may be disappointed as the number of fully remote posts being advertised in the UK has fallen for ten consecutive months.

Ngaire Moyes, LinkedIn’s UK manager, warned that businesses would find it harder to attract and retain staff if they scrapped flexible working policies. “We’ve adapted to a new … way of working and of course most people don’t want to go back to pre-Covid,” he added.

Demand for telecommuting roles is particularly strong among women, with more than half considering leaving or leaving the role due to lack of flexibility.

The data also revealed generational differences in attitudes to work experience. Generation Z, born between the late 1990s and early 2000s, are the least likely to apply for remote roles, meaning they want to spend more time in the office learning from more experienced colleagues.

Generation X, born between 1966 and 1981, prefer to work remotely, accounting for more than a quarter of applications for remote roles in February.

Overall, 44 per cent of UK workers said they worked from home at least once a week between September 2022 and January 2023, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). That’s down from a peak of 49% in 2020.

As the risk of Covid-19 is deemed low enough for employees to stay a few feet apart, the big debate over working from home is raging.

In the past two years, a body of conflicting research on homework has been published, showing varying levels of productivity, work-life balance, and well-being.

According to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, higher levels of flexible working have been reported in the public sector than in the private sector – last year the then Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg highlighted a high-profile row in trying to persuade public servants to return. to the office.

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