Microsoft: UK Workers Would Consider Quitting if Hybrid Work is Axed

More than half (51 percent) of U.K. workers who have the choice to mix remote and office working would consider leaving their company if the hybrid option was removed, according to new research released by Microsoft in conjunction with YouGov.

The findings come in the wake of recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), that reported resignations and job-to-job moves in the United Kingdom are at the highest level in two decades. The result is what experts call “the great resignation,” with many workers changing roles and companies, as they re-evaluate their views on life, work and how to balance them.

However, while many U.K. workers have sought new roles in this time that offer greater flexibility, the reality of onboarding at a new business during the pandemic has not been without its challenges. More than a third (36 percent) of U.K. workers who started a new job since the outset of the pandemic experienced their entire onboarding process without ever setting foot in the workplace.

And these workers have found several areas difficult when it comes to remote onboarding. These include:

  • Forming working relationships (42 percent)
  • Not having a manager/team ‘in the room’ to ask for information or guidance (33 percent)
  • Learning to use new software and applications (24 percent)
  • Earning the confidence of colleagues (23 percent)
  • Soaking up company culture (21 percent)

The challenges of remote onboarding since the start of the pandemic are recognized by those responsible for managing the process:

  • More than a third (36 percent) of HR decision makers (HRDMs) felt remote onboarding makes it hard to provide effective, role-specific training for new starters
  • 35 percent voiced concerns about ensuring employees have easy access to the information they need to hit the ground running
  • 28 percent are worried about upholding their organization’s culture and reputation

Despite the potential hiccups of a remote onboarding process, employees and HRDMs believe the long-term benefits of hybrid working outweigh these initial woes. The report points to the most pressing concerns identified by HRDMs in not having a hybrid working model:

  • Inability to retain new talent – 38 percent recognize the risk of losing staff to organizations that offer better hybrid working options
  • Negative impact on productivity – (as recognized by 25 percent)
  • Negative impact on wellbeing – (24 percent) flag the negative impact on the workforce’s overall wellbeing
  • Employee burnout – (23 percent)
  • Keeping pace with competitor – 23 percent flag the potential of not keeping up with industry peers

The survey was carried out online.