Survey: Flexibility More Important than Raises; One-Third Want New Jobs

A new survey of 1,500 full-time U.S. employees shows that 33% are actively job searching and 79% say they want flexibility in when and where they work.

The State of Work in America survey, conducted by Chicago-based IPA 100 firm Grant Thornton (FY20 net revenue of $1.92 billion), further states that 40% of respondents will look for another job if forced to return to the office full time and 51% would give up a 10% to 20% salary increase for more flexibility.

“Everyone has a unique set of responsibilities outside of the office,” says Tim Glowa, who leads employee listening and human capital services. “As companies return to the office, it will be more crucial than ever to give people the time they need to take care of what’s important at home.”

While more than half of respondents (56%) are looking forward to returning to the office, apparently it’s the requirement to be in the office full time that’s driving record numbers of resignations, the survey says.

“People value employers that respect their time, their family responsibilities and their work-life balance,” says Glowa. “Employers that put that respect into action are well positioned to win the ongoing war for talent.”

Among the survey’s other notable findings:

  • 40% of respondents do not feel like their voice is heard at work
  • 34% believe interacting with their manager is the most stressful part of the day
  • 30% feel like the amount they pay for health care is not transparent, and they are not confident that they have chosen the best medical plan

“To better attract and retain employees ­– especially in a tight labor market – requires thinking like a marketing professional,” Glowa adds. “You need to understand employee pain points, then brainstorm potential solutions and benefits to address them. If you can fix that pain point, you’ve made a big difference in the eyes of employees – ideally, in a way that is difficult for competitors to replicate.”