Employees Now Hold The Power Says Future Work Recruitment

There is something amiss with the jobs market. There is a record number of job vacancies, yet unemployment is low. It can only mean one thing: people are leaving the jobs market. Experts believe much of this down to people deciding to retire and students remaining in further education. But it still leaves a sizable number of workers who have simply disappeared.

Faced with the life-changing impact of Covid 19, many have re-evaluated the role of work in their lives and have set themselves a new set of priorities. Some have left their industry completely whilst others have gone freelance to get a better work/life balance.

The pandemic has not only changed the things we do, but the way we think. Nowhere is this more evident than in the jobs market where there has been a marked powershift in the workplace.

With more than one million vacancies across all sectors, employers are digging deep to attract new talent.

After centuries of begging for jobs, its now the employer who is going cap in hand to employee. Desperate bosses are offering over-market salaries, golden hellos, 4-day weeks and the opportunity to work from home.

A recent poll by the BBC showed that as many as 70% believe they will never return to the office.

Working from home

Most of us have had at least some experience of working from home, whilst many are still there. According to the National Office for Statistics, of the employed population, 35.9% did some work at home in 2020, an increase of 9.4 percentage points compared with 2019.

By and large, it is a setup which has gone down well for both employees and employers. Survey after survey reports increased happiness and satisfaction amongst home workers as they utilise time saved on commuting with the things that really matter like spending more time with family and pursing personal interest.

Microsoft’s Work Smarter to Live Better report showed 56% of people claimed an increase in their happiness levels when working from home with 17% saying they would not chose to  go back to the office.

These findings have profound implications for business leaders in the UK and around the world. If the majority of their workforce is happier working from home, this creates new mandates and incentives to build an effective hybrid workplace that works for everyone.

The age-old myth that if you can’t see your staff, they are not working has been completely debunked by recent events. Some surveys report a massive 77% increase in efficiency amongst home workers.

As with any major powershift in the workplace, the benefits have to be experienced by both employees and employers. It is no good just having a happy workforce if the business is suffering.

Flight from the cities

As well as not having to work in the same place, employees now don’t have to live in the same place. Being close to work is much less important than in pre-pandemic years.

When the property market re-opened after the first lockdown, reports started coming in of a mass exodus from the cities.

Rightmove data showed that enquiries from city residents about village homes rose by 126% in June and July versus the previous year, with city dwellers in Liverpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham and London topping the list of those dreaming of a rural life.

These seismic changes in attitudes have caused a shift in the balance of power towards the employee forcing employers to reassess what they offer employees which has left both employers and employees somewhat stunned.

Recognising this powershift, the recruitment agency Future Work has launched a club for employees to help them navigate the post-pandemic marketing jobs market.

The FUW club will be offering free weekly webinars exploring different aspects of marketing and running virtual open days where employers can showcase their businesses. The webinars are hosted by the virtual agency network Pimento which has more than 200 members in the UK.

Club membership is free and open to anyone who works in the marketing sector regardless of whether they are actively seeking a new role.

In addition to the webinars, members will also get generous discounts on travel through the online booking site Ultimate Travel Club.

Club secretary Nick Band said: “Since the pandemic, there has been a huge powershift from employers to employees who now hold all the cards. It is no longer a question of “will I get a new job,” but rather “what job do I want.”