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Wellbeing beats money as employee priorities shift

19 January 2021

A new YouGov survey has revealed how British attitudes to work have changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus has had a profound impact on how we work, with the number of British employees working from home rising from just 5% before the pandemic to one in two in 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Now, aYouGov poll, conducted on behalf of Vestd, has uncovered how this seismic change has affected attitudes to work.

The survey findings reveal that the top motivator for employees is being appreciated by managers - cited by over one third of respondents. After recognition, "a large salary" comes second. However, 65% of workers also said they now prioritise wellbeing over cash, rising to 73% for female employees.

The poll found that the most demotivating factors in the workplace are:

  • Poor communication from management (cited by 70%);
  • Poor salary and/or benefits (68%);
  • Job insecurity (63%);
  • Micromanagement (60%);
  • Lack of confidence in management/leadership (57%).

The poll also shows that a third of under-25s currently in work are actively looking for new jobs. By contrast, only 8% of those over the age of 55 are looking for new employment.

For those on the hunt for a new role, 66% of UK workers say they want flexibility and the ability to work from home (or anywhere else). It suggests that unless companies can offer home working, they could be closing off their business to thousands of jobseekers.

In second place, nearly one in three said that a company share scheme would tip the balance for them when seeking a new job. The findings suggest that share schemes are seen as a way to enhance employee benefits in lieu of larger salaries. UK workers polled said that share schemes are good for staff retention and productivity, boost team morale and demonstrate respect from management.

Looking ahead, the survey found that more than half of Brits are feeling "fairly positive" or "very positive" about 2021. "It's great to see that so many people are geared up for a productive and positive 2021," said Ifty Nasir, founder and ceo of Vestd.

Commenting on the poll findings, he said: "It's no surprise to me that people are seeking stability and flexibility over higher wages at this time."

Written by Rachel Miller.

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