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Work Life Balance in Business

By: Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library.

In a recent candidate survey to CV-Library candidates, 18.4% said they were looking for a new job purely because they wanted more flexible working.

When asked what the 3 most important factors were when considering a new role, the top results were as follows:

1) Salary 53.2%

2) Reasonable hours 42.8%

3) Flexible working 38.7%

4) Healthy company culture 32.6%

21% of candidates are now worried that they won’t find a role that offers the flexibility to suit their current lifestyle.

Flexibility isn’t just a perk for employees, it can be great for businesses too and never more so than now as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to totally rethink their working patterns. Benefits include; reduced costs, staff retention, diversity in the workplace, an increase in female employees and a proven increase in productivity.

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If staff have been furloughed, working from home or on reduced hours over this last year, employers and employees may already have the perfect evidence to prove how flexible working works for everyone involved.

Flexible working can be viable for all parties. Both the employee and employer need to consider how it can work in practice for a specific role and have prepared solutions for any issues. Things to consider are:

How will working flexibly affect duties and responsibilities?
Are there any negatives that need to be overcome?
How will working flexibly affect other employees?

The study by the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library, also revealed that leadership skills have become less important amidst lockdown and working from home.

Adaptability is now the number one perceived skill required in the workplace. Pre COVID-19, 48.3% of candidates surveyed believed that communication was the top skill required to do their job. After a year of lockdown restrictions, this number has dropped by -11.6%, pushing adaptability into the top spot with 50.8% of the vote, a staggering +22.8% increase from before the pandemic.

The study which surveyed over 2,000 UK professionals aimed to highlight the true impact of the global pandemic, business closures and working from home. Qualifications, teamwork, presentation and leadership skills have all slipped down the list of top skills that candidates feel are essential to do their job.

Almost a quarter (23.3%) of respondents ranked self-motivation as essential, up from 14.6%. Other key skills that have soared in prevalence since March 2020 include IT skills, resilience, social media skills, listening and creativity.

Biggins continues: “The success of remote business working has been an unexpected surprise for many this last year, but our survey results highlight some of the drawbacks. Teamwork and leadership are crucial and much more difficult to achieve when employees work in independent environments. One size doesn’t fit all and there’s a definite place for flexible working and a hybrid workplace where possible. However, this is a reminder of the benefits a workplace environment offers to both businesses and employees. And not just to profits and success but to mental health, skill development and career progression”.

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