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UK workers want better remote working options

Employers in the UK need to provide more flexible and remote working options in order to attract the best talent, according to new research.

Airbnb’s ‘Future of Work’ report has found that the modern trend of remote and flexible working shows no sign of slowing down, and companies embracing this change stand to make the best hires. As a result, workers in the UK are demanding more flexibility than ever, with 77 per cent of respondents – and 84 per cent of Millennials – agreeing that companies need to provide more remote options to attract talent.

The report claims that UK workers are becoming more confident in their abilities to do their job from anywhere, with one in 10 now preferring to work outside the traditional office altogether. Modern technological developments are cited as a reason for this, with 71 per cent stating that person-to-person interaction is no longer essential for their work and 73 per cent agreeing quality work is not restricted to the confines of a centralised office location.

Despite this strong preference among workers, UK employers are proving slow to respond. Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of workers in the UK state they are not currently able to choose a flexible work schedule, while three quarters (74 per cent) still don’t have the option of working remotely.

This desire for flexible working options can also be seen across the globe as 73 per cent of those surveyed worldwide stated that having a flexible work schedule is important and 75 per cent agreed that a centralised office is no longer required for quality work. Although global employers need to be doing more, they are ahead of the UK; 41 per cent of workers are being offered a flexible work schedule worldwide and 31 per cent are able to work remotely (versus 35 per cent and 26 per cent in the UK respectively).

In addition to flexible hours and scope to work remotely, other benefits that ranked highly included parental, commuter and wellness benefits alongside initiatives to further individual growth and development.

Top Ten UK Desired Benefits:

1. Flexible hours
2. Ability to work remotely
3. Continued education/tuition assistance
4. Opportunities to move across teams
5. Encouragement to get out of the office
6. Commuter benefits
7. Maternity/paternity benefits
8. Travel for work
9. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives
10. Wellness Benefits (e.g. Gym membership)

Again, companies delivering on these benefits was shown to lag behind workers’ desires.For example, 40 per cent of respondents cited travel for work as an important benefit, yet only 14 per cent are currently being offered this by their employer.

David Holyoke, Head of Airbnb for Work said: “The needs of today’s professionals are constantly adapting and changing, so the modern company needs to evolve to keep pace. Our research shows that employers may be missing the mark when it comes to offering their employees more opportunities for flexible and remote working, among other benefits. Companies that look for ways to meet the desires of their workforce could find this in turn helps them be better placed to attract as well as retain top talent.”

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