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A report by Bloomberg has revealed that three in four Londoners would rather leave their jobs than give up working from home and fully return to the office.
The report, which surveyed 500 office workers across the capital, found that 73 per cent of workers would seek alternative employment if their company forced them to work five days a week on-site.
Four in ten of those workers would require a pay increase of at least 16 per cent to reconsider this position, with many citing long and expensive commutes as their main hindering factor.
The cost of commuting was mentioned by two-thirds of the respondents as one of the main reasons for not travelling to the office.
Rail fares will rise by as much as 5.9 per cent in England at the start of next month despite already costing as much as seven times the amount as similar journeys in Europe.
Higher-paid employees were more likely to push for even raises if told to give up working from home, the report said, while women said they would need more incentives than men.
“London employers may need to keep flexible-work arrangements permanently in order to retain talent,” the report by Susan Munden and Sirine Bouzid read.
They added that the employment rate in London is nearly 76 per cent while its wages rose 6.4 per cent since November last year.
Working from home is here to stay
The majority of workers interviewed said they were allowed to work from home at least some of the time, with 95 per cent saying they stayed at home at least 1 day of the week.
Since the pandemic, the popularity of flexible and hybrid working has continued across the UK, with many managers and business leaders opting to keep working from home initiatives permanently.
A recent survey authored by Holly Birkett at Birmingham Business School and Sarah Forbes at the University of York found that almost 70 per cent of managers did not expect employees to be back in the office for more than four days a week, up from 59 per cent in 2021.
“Managers are generally much more positive about flexible working than pre-pandemic and believe their organisations are more likely to support flexible working requests in this future,” Birkett and Forbes explained in response to the findings.
The popularity of hybrid and flexible working arrangements across the UK is also echoed in recent government legislation.
This is a step in the right direction.. but there are still too many managers and Conservative policy-makers who repeatedly ignore data showing that flexible working, including job shares and compressed hours, builds an effective and representative team. https://t.co/6uHW3Gr2kg
— Sophie Walker (@SophieRunning) January 9, 2023
In the recently revised Employment Relations Bill, the UK government gave all UK workers the right to request flexible working from day one and no longer need 26 weeks of continuous employment to have a say on when, where and how they work.
Remote working phased out
Despite the increased popularity of the hybrid working model, Bloomberg’s report noted that fully remote working is becoming increasingly less popular for London businesses.
The proportion of staff working remotely in London fell from 24 per cent to 19 per cent in June, as a growing number of companies return to the office, albeit partially.
Adverts for remote working roles have also dropped month by month since the pandemic. Just 12 per cent of roles were advertised on Linkedin in September, a drop from 16 per cent in January of the same year.
Fewer job seekers are also searching for fully remote roles. Between September and October last year, the number of searches for full-time roles on Linkedin dropped from 44 per cent to 32 per cent – an all-time low since the pandemic.
Instead, workers seem to be seeking out hybrid working roles, whose popularity among job seekers has continued to rise since the pandemic, making up 56 per cent of all job searches on the employment platform.
“The balance of power is starting to shift back to employers as economic storm clouds gather and hiring slows,” Managing Director for LinkedIn Europe Josh Graff told the Daily Mail.
“Flexibility will increasingly become a survival issue for many businesses. Companies that pull back on flexible working and learning and development risk demotivating their workforce and pushing people to competitors that offer more attractive options,” he added.