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Flexibility in the Workplace Continues to Improve

Beamery “Talent Index” shows sick days are a thing of the past; greater benefits, staff training & development, and four day workweeks top employees’ 2022 wish lists

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec.13, 2021 -- While nearly half of American workers (49%) feel their career will progress faster given more flexibility and remote working options, around two-thirds (65%) say working remotely brings added pressure to work while sick. Findings from the third edition of Beamery’s “Talent Index” also reveal 39% are more likely to work through sickness from home while one in four (26%) believe sick days themselves are a thing of the past. 

“Employees feeling as though sick days are now obsolete is a concerning trend that business leaders need to be mindful of,”

Abakar Saidov, Co-founder and CEO of Beamery.

“High performing employees are those that feel supported by their company and this extends to protecting mental and physical wellbeing. As employers do more to challenge the Great Resignation, and keep employees connected to the organisation, they will also understand more about what their employees want, and will expect, from their workplace in 2022.”

New Year, New Priorities

Employees value their newfound flexibility in the workplace and now want to see further changes. When asked which things they want their employer to introduce in 2022, the most popular responses were flextime (38%) and a four day work week (37%). Career growth and professional development will also become a competitive advantage for businesses, with the majority of employees (85%) saying it is important that their company provides this. In fact, 45% went on to say that they want their company to prioritize staff training and development in 2022, which ranked highest along with greater benefits and incentives (47%).  

For Gen Z It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later

While 52% of all workers are considering leaving their job within the next 12 months, 20% of those aged 18-24 already have a new opportunity lined up. Despite this, 80% of the same age group are interested in keeping the lines of communication open with their current employer should they decide to leave. The high turnover rate of Gen Z workers could be driven by a change in career path, with 18-24 being the biggest group admitting that work goals are no longer the same ones they held before the pandemic (29%). They’re also the most confident (82%) that they’ll be able to find a new job.

‘Face Time’ is Hindering Promotion Opportunities

In the U.S., half of employees believe a lack of one-to-one time with their employer has hindered their promotion opportunities in the last 12 months - while one in five say it has hindered it significantly. 63% also feel working from home during the pandemic has had a negative impact on their personal development and progression in the workplace. With people wanting opportunities to advance, talent acceleration programs will be a welcome addition in 2022. To date, only 42% of employees report that their company offers this, of which, 1 in 4 say that while the program technically exists, it has stalled out or is not currently in place. 

Parents - Particularly Men - Have More Understanding Around Childcare Needs

78% of parents in the U.S. and UK feel they have more flexibility and understanding around childcare needs than they had prior to the pandemic. Men have especially benefited from this workplace shift with 82% reporting they now have more overall, versus 74% of women. Similarly, among all workers who have now returned to the office, 36% say the greatest change they’ve seen in regards to office culture is flexibility around personal commitments such as school runs or medical appointments. 


An online survey was conducted by Atomik Research among 5,004 respondents from the UK
and USA, all of whom worked in an office and had left their office at some stage due to the
pandemic. The research fieldwork took place on 19th November – 26th November 2021. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code.