The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the plans of businesses to test the practicality of working from home, remote working and hybrid working. As offices were instructed to close following the onset of the outbreak, the move to working from home was inevitable, granting employees greater freedom over their professional life and subsequently reshaping what’s deemed desirable in a job offer.
Freedom to work flexibly
CIPD research suggests that UK workers face inequality due to a stark difference in employers that offer flexible working practices, as just under half (46%) of employees say that they do not have flexible working arrangements in their current role.
Overall, the pandemic acted as a catalyst for flexible working and opened the eyes of employers searching for new ways to grant more flexibility. It also underlined the rights of job hunters to request flexible working.
From a retention perspective, agreeing to a job offer that considers flexible working can help build loyalty and trust between the employer and employees.
Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said:
“The pandemic has greatly impacted working life and it’s unsurprising that many employers and their staff have seen the benefits of flexible working during this difficult period.
“Hybrid working existed before COVID and our survey reveals that more than half of employers in Britain expect this type of flexible working to increase once we come out of the pandemic.
“Our new advice can help employers look at the potential benefits of hybrid working, consider whether it is suitable for their workplace, and fairly manage any staff requests.”
Right to juggle work life around personal life
The Covid-19 pandemic put public health on the top of the agenda, causing thousands of deaths and contributing to both short and long-term health complications amongst the general population.
Having lived life under stringent social distancing measures where most forms of physical contact were prohibited, Covid-19 continues to be a constant reminder of what’s important in life – such as spending time with loved ones. The pandemic reshaped the outlook of job seekers on life, including their priorities in the working world.
It taught employees the importance of balancing work and personal life, and the value of working for an employer that votes in favour of this. The pandemic reinforced the importance of finding an employer that is empathetic, relatable and takes pride in extending flexibility.
Know your worth
While the Covid-19 health emergency contributed to global supply chain problems, it also triggered a labour shortage, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. Vacancies are remaining open for longer which can be costly to organisations, creating a skills gap. To increase the appeal of job adverts and their reach, employers are using flexible working as a hook to attract new candidates.
In light of the cost-of-living crisis, job seekers must factor inflation and the increase in energy prices into their pay package. Existing employees are also returning to the table to renegotiate pay as the hike in energy prices takes a toll on cash flow and pandemic put into focus the value of key workers.
The Covid-19 pandemic redefined what’s desirable in a job offer as candidates come to terms with life post-Covid-19 and brace their households for the new cost-of-living.
This blog is a guest post from Keith Tully, a partner at Real Business Rescue, a company insolvency and business restructuring firm dedicated to supporting company directors in financial distress.