UK workers demand better remote working options, claims Airbnb report

UK employers need to provide more flexible and remote working options in order to attract the best talent, according to new research released by Airbnb for Work. Airbnb’s Future of Work report, the first of its kind from the platform, has revealed that the modern trend of remote and flexible working shows no sign of slowing down, and companies embracing this change stand to make the best hires. Workers in the UK are demanding more flexibility than ever, with 77 percent of respondents – and 84 percent of Millennials – agreeing that companies need to provide more remote options to attract talent.

UK workers are becoming more confident in their abilities to do their job from anywhere, with one in ten now preferring to work outside the traditional office altogether. Modern technological developments are cited as a reason for this, with 71 percent stating that person-to-person interaction is no longer essential for their work and 73 percent agreeing quality work is not restricted to the confines of a centralised office location.

Despite this strong preference among workers, UK employers are proving slow to respond. Almost two thirds (65 ) of workers in the UK state they are not currently able to choose a flexible work schedule, while three quarters (74%) still don’t have the option of working remotely.

This desire for flexible working options can also be seen across the globe, as 73 percent of those surveyed worldwide stated that having a flexible work schedule is important and 75 percent agreed that a centralised office is no longer required for quality work. Although global employers need to be doing more, they are ahead of the UK; 41 percent of workers are being offered a flexible work schedule worldwide and 31 percent are able to work remotely (versus 35 percent and 26 percent in the UK respectively).

In addition to flexible hours and scope to work remotely, other benefits that ranked highly included parental, commuter and wellness benefits alongside initiatives to further individual growth and development.

Top Ten UK Desired Benefits:

  • Flexible hours
  • Ability to work remotely
  • Continued education/tuition assistance
  • Opportunities to move across teams
  • Encouragement to get out of the office
  • Commuter benefits
  • Maternity/paternity benefit
  • Travel for work
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives
  • Wellness Benefits (e.g. Gym membership)

Again, companies delivering on these benefits was shown to lag behind workers’ desires. For example, 40 percent of respondents cited travel for work as an important benefit, yet only 14 percent are currently being offered this by their employer.