The worldwide cost of living crisis is prompting people to re-evaluate their living situation and, for some, residing in major cities is no longer quite so desirable due to sky-high costs. PRO Unlimited, a San Francisco-based company, conducted a study that found nearly 90% of employed individuals prefer jobs with remote work options.
And it is not just America that is feeling the effects of the work from home revolution. A recent survey involving more than 1,100 Australian workers has uncovered that nearly half (45%) of the respondents would be open to a salary reduction in return for enhanced flexibility with remote work.
So, what does this mean for the UK?
A new study conducted by the international recruitment platform Indeed has found that 65% of UK employees would be open to a pay cut for an overall better job. The survey, incorporated in the Better Work 2023 report, took the opinions of more than 5,000 workers. It revealed a strong desire for more flexibility and a condensed workweek as the main catalysts behind this trend.
On average, survey participants were ready to accept a salary reduction of 9.2%. With the average UK worker’s salary standing at £33,000, this means that the typical worker is ready to forgo £3,036 annually in exchange for a better job. The poll identified that a four-day workweek (28%), an improved work-life balance (25%) and more flexible working options (17%) were the primary driving forces behind Brits’ willingness to contemplate a salary cut.
A striking 33% of participants envision flexible hours as the standard in the future of work. Moreover, the study disclosed a strong appetite for reduced work hours, with 28% of respondents foreseeing shorter work hours yet elevated productivity as a key element of better work. Meanwhile, 31% felt they could already achieve in four days what used to take five. Flexible hours were ranked as a leading sign of a forward-thinking company by 41% of those surveyed, outpacing remote and hybrid work (30%), and significantly outperforming other social and environmental factors like inclusive hiring (13%), company-wide use of pronouns (9%) and B Corp Certifications (6%).
Women (63%) place a higher importance on flexible working opportunities than men (57%). With women still responsible for the vast majority of unpaid domestic work worldwide, this is of no surprise. With working from home meaning that they are doing even more parenting alongside work-related duties, taking a pay cut is the attractive way for people to free themselves from long commutes whilst also saving money on before and after school childcare.
Even as we move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic era, experts predict that remote working is not going away. Remote work will not fit everyone’s needs and there are industries where it simply will not work.
The key for employers is having in place a policy which demonstrates the desire to remain productive whilst ensuring that employees are satisfied with the flexibility on offer. The studies show that employees could be alienated by outdated policies that mandate attending the workplace. If you need assistance in putting together a remote working policy, or are having difficulties in encouraging employees back to the workplace, get in touch with one of our team.