Study: 42% of Workers Would Reject Job Offer With No Hybrid Work

While remote work and AI usage rises, another study suggests productivity among remote workers has been impacted.

42% of European job seekers would refuse an otherwise attractive job offer if the employer didn’t give the option to work remotely or on a hybrid basis.

In Ireland, that figure climbs to 47%, compared to the global average of 29% – that’s according to a report published by The Stepstone Group (parent company of IrishJobs) titled How Work Preferences Are Shifting in the Age of GenAI.

However, a different study from the Office for National Statistics suggests that the workforce’s growing predilection for working from home is presenting companies with new challenges around productivity.

Workers Demanding More Flexibility

The study, which solicited the views of 150,000+ respondents across 188 countries, asked a series of questions about job seekers’ perceptions, expectations, and deal breakers with regard to the labor market.

It found that “job security” is now globally the most important factor that employees consider, having overtaken “good relationships,” which has fallen to fourth. “Good work-life balance” and “financial compensation” complete the top three, with “learning and career development” another growing consideration.

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“There continues to be significant competition among employers to attract and retain skilled talent,” said Sam Dooley, Country Director of The Stepstone Group Ireland. “With nearly half of [Irish] jobseekers willing to turn down opportunities that do not provide hybrid or fully remote working options, employers should ensure they’re evolving their policies to address these needs and comply with new Government guidelines on the right to request remote work.”

The recognition of mental health implications is another key factor in the forefront of job seekers’ priorities, with 40% of global respondents saying they wouldn’t work for a company that doesn’t offer mental health support or that has a perceived negative impact on society.

“In attracting global talent, a personalized, modern recruitment process is every bit as critical as providing a value-based workplace that supports the well-being of employees… These are simply not just ‘nice-to-haves’ anymore.” – Sebastian Dettmers, CEO of The Stepstone Group

AI Up, Productivity Down

The study also discovered that AI tools are now used regularly by 39% of respondents, which shows that the use of chatbots like ChatGPT and Gemini aren’t specifically limited to remote AI jobs and entry-level AI jobs. 57% of global respondents said that they were ready to retrain into new roles if required, recognizing that artificial intelligence will continue to be a disruptive force in the workplace.

The study was published just a few days before the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) released its own study on the labor market’s productivity (Regional and subregional labour productivity, UK: 2022), however.

A mixed set of data showed that, while some parts of the country had shown improved productivity, London’s fell by 2.7% between 2019 and 2022. The shadow of that figure is cast upon a backdrop of numbers showing 60% of all London workers either work on a hybrid model or entirely from home.

A further questionnaire carried out by the ONS earlier this year revealed that 29% of London businesses intended to embed greater levels of working from home, compared to a figure of 44% to the same question in 2022. This perhaps shows that some London businesses have identified their own inverse correlation between remote working and productivity levels.

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Written by:
Now a freelance writer, Adam is a journalist with over 10 years experience – getting his start at UK consumer publication Which?, before working across titles such as TechRadar, Tom's Guide and What Hi-Fi with Future Plc. From VPNs and antivirus software to cricket and film, investigations and research to reviews and how-to guides; Adam brings a vast array of experience and interests to his writing.
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