Study: Employers Should Welcome Flexibility To Avoid ‘Great Resignation’

Study: Employers Should Welcome Flexibility To Avoid ‘Great Resignation’
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



Australian businesses are at risk of instigating their own ‘Great Resignation’ in 2022 if they mandate a return
to set days in the office, according to a new report released today.

The Future of Work (Adapting to the New Normal) report by Bastion Reputation and Bastion Insights draws on results from two recent surveys of 1200 Australians employees and employers, from all states and territories and several different industries.

The report found 40 per cent of employees surveyed want more than anything to have control over where and when they work. For some, having flexibility was more important than incentives such as higher pay.

“After nearly two years of working in and out of lockdowns, employees feel liberated and empowered by the
flexibility they’ve experienced, and many would now rather choose to leave their job than lose their ability to
work from home when they want to,” Bastion Reputation CEO, Clare Gleghorn said.

The new findings show embracing hybrid modes of working is essential for successful businesses, particularly ahead of what many believe will be a comparatively stable year in 2022.

“Employers should find ways to involve employees in the conversation about what work looks like for
individuals, teams and the broader business,” Ms Gleghorn continued.

“Offering genuine and ongoing flexibility may take a leap of faith for some employers but it will go a long way towards helping attract and retain top talent and getting the best performance outcomes for business.”

The Bastion survey shows that in the main, Australian employers and employees have made the transition to
living and working in an ongoing state of uncertainty.

This is a change from last year’s survey, when the disruptive impacts of the pandemic and the shift the adoption of remote working were challenging and stressful for both employers and employees.

“While there is plenty of optimism that the new year may offer more stability than we’ve experienced for the past two years, it will never be a case of life returning to the way it was before the pandemic,” said Bastion Insights CEO, Dianne Gardiner.

“While much will continue to change about the way we work, some basic principles of great leadership won’t. Leaders should keep talking to their teams, listen genuinely, offer flexibility where they can and communicate clearly and regularly.”

Many employers are still not sure or confident about how to manage teams in a hybrid model, with more than
half saying they have not even thought about how to do it.

“This tension between empowerment, productivity and oversight still needs to be resolved if hybrid models are to be effective,” said Ms Gleghorn.

“There is much work to be done to shift our mindsets and adapt our ways of managing teams, to allow autonomy and trusted working relationships to thrive”.

While the report found employers are generally less negative about hybrid work, there are still lingering
concerns about factors such as connection to colleagues, with about 1 in 4 employers and about 1 in 5
employees believing hybrid working will have a negative impact on connections.

Additionally, 21 per cent of female employees surveyed and 60 per cent of older employees surveyed are unlikely to want to return to the office – a trend that potentially points to future offices which skew towards male workers and younger workers.




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