As businesses navigate through the uncertainty of the current economy, one problem that continues to persist is quick quitting. Quick quitting, or the sudden departure of employees, can be detrimental to a company's productivity, morale, and bottom line. However, a recent study conducted by Skynova that surveyed 500 employees and 632 managers and HR professionals has shed light on a simple solution to this issue: offering hybrid and remote work options. Unfortunately, the study also showed that most employers don't realize the benefits of offering such options.
Why Employees Quit
The study found that before quitting, more than one in three workers asked to work remotely. This indicates that the lack of flexibility in the workplace is a major contributor to quick quitting.
Additionally, nearly 40% of workers said they would stay at their current company if they offered a remote setup. This demonstrates the strong desire for remote work among employees and the potential for it to be a solution to quick quitting.
The study also analyzed the impact of remote and hybrid work on different generations. Baby Boomers (42.86%), Millennials (36.9%), and Gen X (36.78%) are the most likely to ask for a remote option before quitting. Having an option for hybrid work ranks as the top benefit that would keep Baby Boomers (58.93%) and Millennials (57.67%) at their jobs longer. Gen Xers, on the other hand, would rather have fully-remote jobs, as nearly half (45.98%) ranked this as a top priority.
Case Studies of the Benefits of Offering Hybrid and Remote Work
As an experienced consultant in the field, I have seen the positive impact that hybrid and remote work can have on retention. Offering hybrid and remote work options brings numerous benefits for both employees and employers. For employees, hybrid and remote work options provide greater flexibility, allowing them to better balance their work and personal life. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, lower stress levels, and improved mental and physical health. For employers, offering hybrid and remote work options can lead to increased retention, improved morale, and a more motivated and productive workforce.
A mid-size IT company wanted to retain their top talent, so based on my advice, they implemented a hybrid work policy. This policy allowed employees to split their time between working from the office and working from home. The company also provided the necessary technology and tools to ensure a seamless transition to working from home. As a result, the company noticed a significant decrease in quick quitting and an increase in employee satisfaction and productivity. Employees appreciated the flexibility and work-life balance that the hybrid work policy provided.
A large financial services company was facing a high rate of quick quitting, so they decided to offer their employees the option of hybrid work. Just like the IT company, the financial services firm provided its employees with the technology and tools necessary to work remotely. The results were impressive: employee retention improved, and quick quitting decreased significantly. In addition, the company noticed an increase in employee engagement, which had a positive impact on overall performance and productivity.
A growing consulting firm was struggling with quick quitting, so they decided to offer their employees the option of fully remote work. The results were outstanding: quick quitting decreased, while motivation, morale, and productivity rose. Employees felt more fulfilled in their jobs due to the additional flexibility and autonomy. Of course, they still made client visits as needed, since any offering of hybrid and remote work needs to be client-centric and put client needs first. Still, the ability to work remotely whenever they weren't needed on client sites proved key to retention and addressing quick quitting for this company.
Employers Don't See the Potential
Despite the clear benefits of remote and hybrid work for employees, the Skynova study shows that only 37% of employers think that offering these options will help. This indicates a significant disconnect between what employees want and what employers believe they need.
One reason for this is the impact of cognitive biases on decision-making. Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information that supports our existing beliefs and ignore information that contradicts them. In the context of hybrid and remote work, this bias can cause employers to overlook the positive effects of such arrangements and instead focus on potential drawbacks.
For example, an employer may believe that remote workers are less productive or that hybrid work will harm team cohesion. They may look for evidence to support these beliefs, while ignoring data that shows the opposite. This can lead to a self-reinforcing cycle, where the employer remains resistant to change because they only see information that supports their preconceptions.
Status quo bias is the tendency to stick with the status quo, even when change would be beneficial. This bias can impact an employer's decision-making by causing them to fear the unknown. For example, they may worry about the cost of providing remote work infrastructure or the impact on company culture.
In many cases, these fears are overblown and do not reflect the reality of hybrid and remote work. However, the status quo bias can prevent employers from taking a closer look and considering the benefits, such as improved employee satisfaction and reduced turnover. This bias can also cause employers to overlook the long-term benefits of hybrid and remote work, such as increased productivity and reduced absenteeism, in favor of short-term concerns.
Cognitive biases, such as confirmation bias and status quo bias, can prevent employers from recognizing the benefits of hybrid and remote work. However, by being aware of these biases and making a conscious effort to overcome them, employers can make informed decisions and embrace this new way of working.
For example, employers can seek out data and research on the benefits of hybrid and remote work, and actively look for information that challenges their preconceptions. They can also consult with employees, who may have different perspectives and experiences, and involve them in the decision-making process.
The results of the Skynova study make it clear that offering hybrid and remote work options is a simple solution to quick quitting. Employers who embrace this shift in work culture will be well-positioned to attract and retain top talent in today's competitive job market. It's time for employers to realize the power of hybrid and remote work and to start taking action to provide this benefit to their employees.
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Originally published in Disaster Avoidance Experts on March 04, 2023.
Dr. Gleb Tsipursky was lauded as “Office Whisperer” and “Hybrid Expert” by The New York Times for helping leaders use hybrid work to improve retention and productivity while cutting costs. He serves as the CEO of the boutique future-of-work consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts. Dr. Gleb wrote the first book on returning to the office and leading hybrid teams after the pandemic, his best-seller Returning to the Office and Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams: A Manual on Benchmarking to Best Practices for Competitive Advantage (Intentional Insights, 2021). He authored seven books in total, and is best know for his global bestseller, Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Career Press, 2019). His cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 650 articles and 550 interviews in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, USA Today, CBS News, Fox News, Time, Business Insider, Fortune, and elsewhere. His writing was translated into Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, and other languages. His expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, and speaking and training for Fortune 500 companies from Aflac to Xerox. It also comes from over 15 years in academia as a behavioral scientist, with 8 years as a lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill and 7 years as a professor at Ohio State. A proud Ukrainian American, Dr. Gleb lives in Columbus, Ohio. In his free time, he makes sure to spend abundant quality time with his wife to avoid his personal life turning into a disaster. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on LinkedIn @dr-gleb-tsipursky, Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook @DrGlebTsipursky, Medium @dr_gleb_tsipursky, YouTube, and RSS, and get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment E