If you’re thinking of quitting your job because bosses are enforcing working hours or removing work from home benefits, you are not alone.
Workers are re-evaluating their working lives after the turbulence experienced over the last few years due to Covid-19.
According to online jobs board CV-Library, 76.4 per cent of UK professionals intend to look for a new job in 2022.
It is due in part to the way the pandemic has shifted people’s priorities and desires.
Perks like working from home, better parental leave, private medical cover and flexible working hours are all now more in demand than they were prior to the pandemic.
Thinking of quitting? Don’t! The increased competition and the skills shortage may offer you the perfect opportunity to get a better deal with your current employer
A report from insurance and employee benefits firm Metlife revealed that 59 per cent were willing to quit if their work values weren’t accommodated, while 50 per cent admitted they were willing to sacrifice more of their basic salary to get a personalised employee benefits package.
But many are also quitting because of the way they’ve been treated by their employers during the pandemic and how they’re being treated now following a return to the office.
It appears that a return to strictly enforced working hours and a lack of flexibility has backfired for some employers.
Retraction of benefits and flexibility is one of the many reasons fuelling a movement that has now been dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’ or ‘The Big Quit’.
Other factors such as Brexit and people relocating during the pandemic have also contributed to workers considering their options.
The resulting lack of skills has affected sectors like retail, hospitality, warehousing, farming and logistics.
To entice skilled and even non-skilled workers, employers are offering better pay, sign up bonuses and free training.
As a result, people are more confident in quitting their jobs. They recognise that there could be better opportunities elsewhere, and that, depending on their industry, the chances of being unemployed for long may be slim.
Taking advantage of The Great Resignation
This has got some employers panicking about staff levels. So for those who don’t want to leave their job, The Great Resignation is offering something they may not have had before: leverage.
Dee Coakley, co-founder and CEO of global employment platform Boundless says a lack of talent is forcing companies to be more flexible to retain the best people
Bradford Goodwin, chief content strategist at jobs website Lensa, says: ‘It’s getting more difficult to attract new talent, particularly in sectors like digital marketing, as there aren’t enough senior-level applicants to fill roles, creating a skills gap.
‘If you’re sitting at that senior level in certain industries, it’s going to be tricky for your employer to replace you, and that gives you the chance to negotiate better pay and benefits.’
There are also non-financial benefits to staying in your current job.
Dee Coakley, co-founder and CEO of global employment platform Boundless, says: ‘Staying in your current job can be preferable because it involves less stress than changing roles, when you’re already in a role where you not only know the ropes but are also good at it.’
Negotiating for things like flexibility, better pay and other perks can be awkward.
However, there are several things you could do before, during and after a meeting with your boss to make sure you keep your professionalism intact. These include:
1. Demonstrate the benefits of remote working
If remote working is important to you, but your employer his hesitant about offering this benefit, you could try and persuade them by highlighting the advantages.
Create a clear and proactive plan which shows how you plan to work remotely at your chosen location, and the reasons why this is better than working at the office.
Coakley says: ‘For example, it might be better for their mental health or means they get to spend more time with their children.’
Why are people leaving their jobs?
According to CV-Library the top five reasons for leaving jobs now include:
Need for a career change 42.1%,
Seeking higher salary 41.3%
Delayed moving jobs earlier in the pandemic, but now feel confident to do so 40.7%
Need for more flexible working 38.9%
Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-Library explains: ‘The combination of confidence slowly building in the UK economy in the six months since ‘Freedom Day’ and the pandemic are triggering people to re-assess their lives and search for more happiness, money and flexibility.
‘This has created a perfect storm in the job market.’
2. Do research on salaries
If more pay is what you’re after, you should be prepared to do the legwork here, too.
Cheney Hamilton, CEO at HR consultancy and research house Find your Flex, advises: ‘Highlight your value, shop around to find out what those in other companies doing your job are earning – the website Glassdoor is great for this. Write down how you want to work, and benefits you’d love to receive in return for the valuable time you give your current employer.
‘A respectful delivery is key, and an offer of notice if it’s not entertained may change their tune.’
3. Promote yourself
It’s always worthwhile to remind your employer about your achievements. This can be used to argue for a pay rise, working from home or extra perks like flexible working.
Biggins says: ‘You need to convince your boss that you’re worth the extra money you’re asking for. Now is the time to be your own best cheerleader and present a case to your employer which will be hard to deny.
‘If you have gone above and beyond within your role, then let your manager know. You can’t presume that they know about all your great achievements.
‘Don’t forget any soft skills, too. A great team player, a mentor to others and always being on time are all factors that make a great employee.’
4. Consider the timing
You can ask for perks or pay rises at any time, but if you get the timing right you may up your chances of success.
Goodwin explains: ‘Timing is everything. Don’t ask about salary at the start or end of a new financial year when budgets are tight.
‘If you’ve recently taken on new responsibilities, that’s also a great time to start a conversation about your salary.
‘Lastly, consider your manager’s schedule. You’ll want to make sure they have ample time to consider your request.’
What to do if your employer digs its heels in
If your employer has been rigid before on working hours or remote working, the chances are they may have had to change their tune now out of necessity and because of the competition.
Coakley explains: ‘It’s a talent market right now and, in response to this, a lot of companies are being more flexible to attract and retain the best people.
‘Remaining rigid means that companies stand to lose out – they can’t afford to be stubborn.’
Before handing in your notice, instigate an open conversation about pay and benefits
However, if your employer digs their heels in and refuses to budge on allowing remote working or any other benefits the last thing you can do before leaving would be to have an open dialogue about it.
Coakley says: ‘Alleviate their concerns by asking them if they have any questions. Show that you’ve done your homework by being prepared.
‘Let them know what your working day will look like and the practicalities, such as the hours you’ll work, where you’ll log on and why making the move is better for you and your family.
‘You can argue the case that it will help you perform at your peak and make you better at your job, which is a win for both you and your employer.’
Even if you don’t get the outcome you wanted, the research you conducted won’t be a waste. Goodwin explains: ‘If you follow the above steps and don’t get the benefits or salary you hoped for, without an explanation, then it’s probably about the right time to look for a different role where you will be fairly compensated for your hard work.
‘After all, you can put those negotiation skills into practice at your next interview. If you’re feeling undervalued, it’s important to know that there are other opportunities out there.’
By Angelique Ruzicka
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