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Flexibility slashes employee turnover by half

Posted on 5th October 2022

A new poll by Glassdoor has revealed that employees with no flexibility are much less satisfied in their jobs than hybrid workers–and almost twice as likely to look for new opportunities.

With post-pandemic burnout and the cost of living crisis hitting employees hard, and historic skills shortages plaguing employers, it’s been a tough year all round.

Hybrid work is the topic of the moment for employees–mentions of the word are up 1600% year-on-year, and positive discussion of hybrid work is up 3682% since the start of the pandemic.

Flexibility and staff retention

In anonymous reviews on Glassdoor, hybrid workers rate their employers significantly higher on every factor, indicating greater job satisfaction than non-hybrid workers. Work-life balance shows the starkest contrast, with hybrid workers giving their work-life balance 4.4 out of 5, and non-hybrid workers 3.8.

Within a week of leaving their review, 4.3% of non-hybrid workers had applied for a new job, versus 2.4% of hybrid workers. In other words, offering hybrid options cuts employee turnover by 43%--almost half.

The benefits of flexible working

71% of full-time hybrid workers say they’re happy with their arrangements. What are their reasons?

  • More autonomy (74%)
  • More time for responsibilities like childcare or personal admin (66%)
  • Better work-life balance (64%)
  • Feeling generally happier (63%)
  • Improved productivity (58%)

49% said hybrid working made them less likely to look for a new job, and 58% said it had helped them cope with the cost-of-living crisis, while 23% of office workers say commuting makes managing the cost of living harder.

The downsides of flexible working

Hybrid working does have its downsides–most of which can be managed by listening to feedback and creating better policies. Here are hybrid workers’ top complaints.

  • Harder to connect with colleagues (43%)
  • Harder to learn from peers (41%)
  • Harder to build relationships with management or senior colleagues (41%)
  • Stunted career progression (35%)

Glassdoor economist Lauren Thomas said: “Companies need to introduce proper hybrid working policies… The key to successful hybrid working is creating a workplace community and culture that supports employees professionally and personally.”