A recent survey by global advisory, broking and solutions company WTW (Willis Towers Watson) found that the great resignation is showing no signs of easing.
More than half (53 percent) of U.S. employees are open to leaving their employers, according to the survey, and 44 percent said they actively looked for a new job during the fourth quarter of last year or were planning to seek new employment during the first quarter of this year.
“The findings suggest that employees continue to job hunt at the same pace as last year and that the labor exodus is not yet over,” said Steve Nyce, senior economist at WTW, in a company press release.
According to the survey, 1 in 4 workers said that while they intend to stay with their employers, they feel stuck in their positions and would change jobs if they could. This increases to more than half of senior managers and 3 in 10 managers.
Pay was cited as the top reason to look for a new job by more than half of respondents, with 2 in 5 saying they would leave for a 5 percent increase. But better pay isn’t the only factor causing employees to seek other opportunities. One-fifth of survey respondents said they would take a new job for the same pay.
Other factors cited by employees as reasons for accepting a position elsewhere include health benefits (39 percent), job security (33 percent) and flexible work arrangements (31 percent).
“Employers remain under pressure as many workers seek enhanced rewards, more job security and different experiences,” Nyce said. “In many cases, employers are responding by boosting pay, enhancing health and retirement benefits, and offering more flexibility to not only find workers but also keep the ones they have from looking elsewhere.”
The shift to remote work during the pandemic has also yielded mixed results among employers and employees alike. While 70 percent of employees said working remotely helped them achieve better work/life balance, and 65 percent thought their job performance had been evaluated fairly, more than half (52 percent) said working remotely left them feeling disconnected from their team. A little less than half – 44 percent – said they’re worried working remotely will negatively affect their career.
That said, as companies establish plans to bring their workforce back to the office, the survey found that 58 percent of employees still want to work remotely either most of the time (36 percent) or in a hybrid arrangement that splits their time (22 percent). Only 42 percent of respondents said they would rather work onsite.
“Most organizations recognize that a mix of in-person and remote work is pervasive and expected to stay,” said Tracey Malcolm, global leader of Future of Work and Risk at WTW, in the release. “While some employees will embrace the new hybrid model, others will worry about the impact it will have in terms of their productivity, work/life balance, recognition and opportunities for advancement.”
More than 4 in 10 (44%) cited less commuting time, followed by reduced costs associated with going into the office (37 percent) and being able to better manage household commitments (33 percent) as a key advantage of working remotely. However, one-third of employees (33 percent) cited a lack of social interaction at work as a disadvantage, and 30 percent reported that remote work made it difficult to build new relationships with co-workers.
“The challenge for employers is to understand the concerns of their workers and map an effective path forward,” Malcolm said.
The 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey was conducted during December 2021 and January 2022. Respondents include 9,658 U.S. employees from large and midsize private employers, representing a range of industries.