Half of Staff Like The Work/Life Balance – Double Trouble for Small Businesses

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Half of Staff Like The Work /Life Balance - Double Trouble for Small Businesses YBKBS Small Business News for Smart Business Owners
Half of Staff Like The Work From Home Life - Double Trouble for Small Businesses

Do you run a small business that employs staff currently working from home?

How are they doing?

Do you know what they’re doing when they’re meant to be working for you?

Is this the way you see the future of your business?

Well according to one survey, nearly half of employees think they’d rather quit their job than work in the ‘office’ again.

Marc Ford

Marc Ford

Editor-in-Chief, Business Media Owner, Business Coach, Author and Keynote Speaker. Works with over 100's of small businesses every year. Trusted by BBC TV and Radio, Channel 4, Mercedes Benz, Hitachi Capital on business matters.

50% Want to ‘Leave’

According to a survey of 2,000 randomly selected workers, it found that 49 per cent would try to change jobs after the pandemic if they could not work in their preferred location. Two thirds of workers said that they wanted to switch to a combination of home and office working, when it was safe to do so. Many cited the time saved on commuting and an improved work-life balance.

For some working from home may seem like a dream, but what does it mean for small business owners?

The research by Atlas Cloud, the IT services company, suggests that up to as many as 7.42 million people who are currently working from home could look to switch jobs if their employers do not agree to accommodate some sort of flexible working in the future.

Pipe Dream

However, only one in ten believed that their bosses would give staff the option to work in their preferred location. Less than half of workers predicted that their employer would choose a form of hybrid working.

Almost 47 per cent of employees worked from home in 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics. Many small business owners and larger employers are reviewing their office requirements before Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday on the route out of lockdown.

“Our Survey Said…”

A separate survey of 500 employers by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation found that one in four large businesses would consider hiring people who did not live close to the office, reflecting the shift toward a more flexible labour market. The confederation argued that this approach could benefit large numbers of workers and result in a further boost to national productivity as employers open themselves up to a wider pool of talent.

Office workers saved an average of £1,268 while working from home since the first lockdowns began last March. However, they admitted that they had been less productive. Office workers surveyed by Atlas Cloud ranked their overall job effectiveness as 7 per cent worse while working from home.

Pete Watson, chief executive of Atlas Cloud, said: “The most striking and consistent finding throughout each lockdown has been that employees do not want to go back to the traditional full-time office arrangement — but they don’t want to lose offices as a working environment and place to meet with colleagues, either. Instead, the findings point again to the future of hybrid working.”

A Perfect Storm for Small Business Owners

It has to be said that a perfect storm does seem to be coming. As the ‘end is in sight’ for many businesses being allowed to re-open, they have many decisions to make. Workers have many decisions to make. 

Businesses will need to balance the books, with overheads, (including staffing levels) versus the potential business they think they will do in a post Brexit Britain, still in the middle of a Global pandemic. This could result in more redundancies that haven’t hit the headline unemployment figures yet, as furlough and Government support ends. Add to that some workers will view what they’ve been through as a change in work/life balance and will add to the self employed and small business market.

As for the person writing this? I’d give anything to be working in the office right now, a home is a home. A home is not a lockdown prison. 

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Business Coach, Author and Consultant. Has worked with BBC TV and Radio and Channel 4 on business matters. Trusted by Mercedes Benz, Hitachi Capital. Keynote speaker.