Has a return to the office become a resigning matter?

More than eight in ten of the UK’s full-time staff are either working or planning to work remotely in some form for the rest of 2020. But almost half say they may resign if they were forced to return to the office.

And with working from home firmly established as key to the future of working life, 45 per cent say they are willing to take a pay cut in order to continue working from home in the long-term.

Fifteen per cent went as far as saying they would be willing to take a pay cut of five per cent, the equivalent to £1,518 a year, when looking at the average full-time UK salary of £30,353.

But if companies were to enforce pay cuts without offering benefits in kind, such as freedom to work from home, it’s a very different story.

Office workers would be likely to resign if their company were to cut their pay as part of cost-saving or if they chose to move to somewhere they could work from home permanently.

David Mills of Ricoh
David Mills: Old ways connot any longer be the norm

The research was undertaken by Owl Labs, the collaborative video conferencing and classroom technology company in a bid to shed light on Britain’s attitudes to work during, and after, a pandemic.

CEO Frank Weishaupt said: “Maintaining effective communication, regardless of location, is more crucial than ever in today’s world. As offices continue to work remotely and the adoption of hybrid working increases, there’s a growing demand for products and services that help productivity and allow blended teams to communicate effectively and stay as close-knit as they were before the pandemic.” The survey also showed that three-quarters of employees believe their company should pay for, or provide, office technology equipment, including laptops, printers, and extra screens, when they work from home, with half  believing they should provide office furniture, including desks and ergonomic chairs).

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

Without the technology that makes it easy and safe to work effectively from anywhere, business owners are facing a brain drain of their top talent

Another study found that European small businesses are 42 per cent more likely than other enterprises to lose employees because of technology frustrations around remote working.

As small business owners continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic, workers expect their employer to offer a modern blended approach to how and where they work. New research commissioned by Ricoh Europe, based on a survey of 1,300 office workers, shows that 27 per cent of small business employees are considering switching jobs.

The study also reveals that while 69 per cent say they have the skills to work remotely, 29 per cent find it difficult to stay motivated and engaged while remote working because of communication and technology issues

Interestingly, 48 per cent have had to rely on their own technology to work remotely  because their company didn’t provide equipment.

David Mills, CEO, Ricoh Europe, says: “While digital transformation may have been on their long-term roadmap, there’s now no time to waste for small businesses. Without the technology that makes it easy and safe to work effectively from anywhere, business owners are facing a brain drain of their top talent.

“Organisations are driven by the ability and quality of their people – losing them to the competition often means losing customers, too.

“Old ways of working can no longer be the norm. It’s not good enough for businesses to ‘get by’ with substandard equipment and processes. The next steps for small businesses will dictate how they overcome disruption and pave the way for future success.”

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024