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Future of Work

Hybrid working is here to stay and it is causing staff to demand more flexibility-related benefits says new research. Robert Half’s ‘Demand for skilled talent’ report which was co-produced by labour analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies, 63% of professionals admitted their job was perfectly doable at home. As such, it found ads were reflecting what employees now want from their employers.

The report found half of respondents polled now want to move to a four-day week, while just under two-fifths (39%) said they wanted to relocate to enable them to continue working remotely. Matt Weston, managing director, Robert Half UK (pictured), said: “2021 will continue to be a year of recovery and rebuilding for many, but long-term shifts to remote and hybrid working means the ‘anywhere workforce’ is clearly here to stay.”

He added: “Adopting a flexible mindset will be critical for organisations that want to thrive in what remains a highly dynamic business environment.”

But there was also a warning to employers. Due to rising employee demand for flexibility, it said bosses need to pay careful attention to workers’ post-pandemic expectations. It found 74% of professionals want to work more remotely (rising to 79% among parents), while 55% now want more staggered work schedules. It also found that 60% said the lack of a traditional commute had improved their work-life balance.

Matt Sigelman, CEO, Burning Glass Technologies, said: “The pandemic has greatly accelerated a number of existing trends in the jobs market, including the move towards remote work and the rise of hybrid jobs.” He added: “But these trends also create a new need for ensuring workforce readiness.”

According to the report, 79% of employees polled said their job now allowed for ‘windowed work’, or the ability to block their day into chunks of business and personal time. Meanwhile 73% of these workers said it lead to them being more productive. The report’s advice for employers is to “provide compensation that meets or exceeds what other companies are offering so you don’t lose valued employees.”

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