27% of WFH employees reconsidering career options

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For intermediaries and employers only

One in five want to move companies and a quarter considering self-employment, study shows

New research from Canada Life has shown how employers' Covid-19 policies are contributing to a potential talent gap in the UK.

More than a quarter (27%) of those who worked from home during lockdown said they were reconsidering their career options based on how their employer dealt with the crisis. Of these, one in five (23%) want to move companies and 23% are thinking about setting up their own business and becoming self-employed.

Paul Avis, Canada Life group insurance marketing director said:"This year has presented huge challenges for employers; for most, the change to business and service delivery has been massive. The logistics of moving staff to home working environments; managing the emotional, physical and social challenges of running a business during lockdown; the application for grants; and the implementation of the furlough scheme all started a process which is still ongoing.

"Next, comes the ending of the furlough scheme, possible redundancies and restructuring, and the process of getting staff back into the workplace safely. For most, it's been a case of learning on the job, but our research shows that organisations which have put the needs of their staff first, been flexible, and listened and acted for the benefit of their people, are most likely to have come out on top." 

The research showed that employees were most keen to see allowance of flexible working hours (26%) from employers going forward, while 17% would like a better home office setup arranged for when working from home. Others want improved mental health support for employees (15%), issues like presenteeism addressed (15%) and support in upgrading WIFI connectivity (13%).

Meanwhile, as staff returned to work, a fifth (21%) of those who have returned wish they'd had more guidance on how to stay protected in the workplace and another 21% think mandated flexible working would have made their return easier. 

Paul Avis said:"Employees are starting to think about their futures and what they want from their working lives. In some instances, lockdown has become a period of reflection and some now want a complete career change, while others are thinking about moving companies. As a result, employers could face a retention challenge and potentially a talent gap, and a dip in productivity. It can cost up to £30,000 to replace a member of staff, so the business case alone for investing in staff retention is compelling. And for those that remain, there will be additional work to be covered, so mental health and wellbeing support will become increasingly important, as it has been throughout the Covid-19 crisis."

Avis added that group protection insurers offer a raft of services, including remote wellbeing and mental health support, that can help employers show their commitment to staff at this time.


This article was written by Adam Saville from Cover Magazine and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.