Jersey firms should drop the '9-5' and develop flexible working patterns if they want to retain staff, according to a survey carried out among local workers.
97% of respondents to a survey by local recruitment consultancy Kendrick Rose said they would be more likely to stay in a role for longer if their employer gave them a greater degree of flexibility, with 35% saying remote working or working from home would be the most significant thing their company could do to help them enjoy their job more.
This came ahead of improving employees’ work life balance (32%), increasing salaries (18%), upgrading the office environment (8%) and investing in new technologies (7%).
Shelley Kendrick, Managing Director at Kendrick Rose, said: “9-5 is no longer the reality for many workers in Jersey – either due to more varied working times or unpaid overtime that extends the working day.
“A traditional 9-5 working day may remain the model for many firms, but those who are open to more flexible working patterns, and who are prepared to embrace a mixture of freelance workers and employees, will have their pick of the best talent.”
Pictured: A majority of workers surveyed think employers should get rid of the 9-5 model.
Flexible working is such an important issue for Jersey workers that 74% of those surveyed would be prepared to consider going freelance or becoming self-employed to gain a greater degree of flexibility. 20% of these would be prepared to leave their job and go freelance even if it meant risking a lower pay level and benefits.
Workers were also asked about how many extra hours they work. Those in finance put in the most hours of unpaid overtime, with 39% occasionally working unpaid overtime if required, compared to a cross-profession average of 21%.
Pictured: A third of employees say remote working or working from home would be the most significant thing their company could do to help them enjoy their job more.
44% in Finance work at least one extra hour per day, compared to the 36% cross-profession average, with 24% admitting they work too many extra hours to bother counting – the highest proportion for any profession surveyed.
“Many businesses in the Island may operate flexible working in theory, but it needs to work at a practical level to be of value to employees and appeal to younger generations entering the workplace and growing their careers," Ms Kendrick added.
Pictured: Shelley Kendrick, Managing Director at Kendrick Rose.
“It’s interesting to see that from the people we surveyed, the opportunity to work remotely or from home ranks above salary increases for the majority. While there are clear differences in appetite for freelance work among different professions, a very high proportion of people across all areas of business may be prepared for change.
“Businesses in Jersey can either see this as a problem, and stave it off for as long as they can with incremental changes, or can seize the opportunity and transform the way they look at employing staff to be ready for Gen Z and an era where many more tasks will be completed by AI.”
The findings come after Express revealed an overtime epidemic across the island last year, with the average employee estimated to be working nearly one month 'for free' every year.
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