Majority of business leaders struggling to get staff back to the office

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Three in five UK business leaders are struggling to get employees back in the office, with younger workers in particular seeking flexibility and better workspaces, new research has found.

infinitSpace commissioned an independent survey of 945 full-time employees including 358 senior decision-makers within UK businesses. It found that more than a third (36%) of employees are considering moving jobs to somewhere with more flexible working practices, either in terms of when or where they work, and 31% are looking for a more engaging workspace.

Meanwhile, 61% of decision-makers admit they are struggling to get employees back to the office, with two-fifths (39%) seeking a new workspace to reflect their changing office needs.

Of those actively looking for a new office or workspace, 56% are seeking a flexible workspace and 44% are downsizing.

Almost half (45%) of UK businesses looking for a new office say it is proving difficult to find a space that meets their needs. 

Wybo Wijnbergen, CEO of infinitSpace, said: “The pandemic has fundamentally reset what people want and need from a workspace and, as the research clearly showed, it has also emboldened employees to seek greater flexibility. More than ever, employees have the power to shape their working week around the realities of everyday life.

“The importance of this is reflected by the staggering number of employees considering moving jobs for a working policy or workspace that better suits them. Positively, business leaders are showing an astute awareness of this, with decision-makers recognising that both flexible workspace and hybrid working policies are essential to retaining and attracting staff.

“The evolution of work is largely being set by employees and employers in tandem. Those who fail to meet the flexible and dynamic demands of today are going to find it very difficult to attract and retain the best talent. Evidently, though, the office landscape also needs to evolve, and fast, with demand for flexible workspace outstripping demand in many places.”