Worker expectations for greater flexibility and security, bolstered by the pandemic and a tight labour market, are only increasing as the global economy reopens and some employers try to woo staff back to offices, finds a poll of over 33,000 people conducted by payroll provider ADP.
Two-thirds of workers, according to the report, would consider looking for a new job if they were forced to return to work full-time unnecessarily.
Workers who believe their sector is secure have dropped from 36% in a comparable study in 2021 to 25% now. The percentage of those actively looking for a new job increased from 15% to 23%, with over a third considering starting a job hunt, compared to only 24% last year.
Half of workers said they were somewhat or not at all satisfied with their current job, and issues that arose during the pandemic — such as working hours and location, working unpaid time, and stress — were prompting employees to renegotiate their current contracts or look for new opportunities.
Two years post-pandemic, workers are thinking harder than ever before about what they really want out of work and life and are reassessing, and in some cases, inverting ideas around what they are worth, what job security means and what they want from their employers.
"The pandemic has sparked a rethink of priorities and workers are signalling a willingness to walk away if employers don't meet their standards on a variety of fronts," the ADP survey concluded.