95% of Businesses Said Retention Of Millennials Extremely Important
Attracting and retaining staff is now a top priority for UK businesses, according to survey by national law firm Irwin Mitchell. The responses of 165 senior decision makers across the UK revealed that over a third of businesses chose the space they did to attract and retain the right workforce, with a high percentage choosing hubs so workers can be in a like-minded community.
Businesses now seem prepared to implement new working practices to keep staff happy. 28% of our survey said they would offer staff flexible working patterns, such as allowing employees to work off-site or at different times of the day (for example to avoid rush hour) and 21% recognised the need to provide recreational areas for staff. Re-configuring office space was third on the list, followed by agile working.
When asked why businesses were prepared to change their practices, over 50% of the total said it was to accommodate a growing workforce and to keep and retain such staff by listening to their demands. One in five realised that such initiatives would also enable them to save money.
In particular, companies are keen to keep hold of their younger workers, especially the millennials (a person reaching adulthood in the early 21st century). Over 95% of businesses said the retention of millennials is very important, compared to 60% saying it was important to retain older workers too. Given millennials will comprise 75% of the global workforce in 2025, businesses are obviously keeping their eyes on the future.
When asked what strategies they are employing to attract younger staff : apprenticeships, development training programmes, linking in with universities, offering internships were mentioned. However several companies did say they offered equal opportunities to any age and the most important thing was to get the right person for the right job.
The survey also revealed that despite Brexit fears, some businesses are also thinking about expanding. Although the vast majority of respondents (89%) said they plan to stay in the same premises for the next 12 months, of those who planned a change, 65% said this was to take on more space, with the vast majority of those saying this was because they were growing organically. This year those companies who said they were relocating all said they planned to stay in the same area of the country, with none planning to move abroad.
We also asked about attitudes to sharing building space- using serviced offices or co-working. Over 32% of businesses have either considered or would consider serviced office space going forward. Similarly, in terms of co-working practices (sharing offices with other companies on a flexible basis to reduce costs and promote networking), 26% of companies said they have considered this or will be going forward, showing this is also a trend that won’t go away. Businesses seem to want to be able to take advantage of new space in the market, without being hindered by traditional landlord restraints.