Brain drain: 60% of Australian knowledge workers looking for new roles within the next year

knowledge workers

Source: Unsplash/Leon.

Australian businesses are facing a brain drain, with 60% of knowledge workers saying they are open to looking for new work within the next year, and more employees willing to walk out if employers can’t provide flexibility.

That’s according to Slack’s most recent Future Forum Pulse report, which surveyed more than 10,500 knowledge workers across Australia, the US, the UK, France, Germany and Japan.

Some 57% of those surveyed said they are open to looking for a new job within the next year.

In Australia, that number is 60% — higher than any other country except the US.

In many cases, the report said, the desire to leave a business comes down to an unmet demand for flexibility at work.

Of those who said they are not satisfied with the level of flexibility afforded in their role, 70% are considering moving on.

Of those who reported feeling a ‘low sense of belonging’, 72% are planning on looking for new opportunities.

Working parents are also slightly more likely to be looking for new opportunities. About 60% of working mothers and 62% of working fathers are open to a job change, compared to 56% of women without children and 51% of men.

The results also found something of a disconnect between executives and employees, particularly when it comes to remote working and post-pandemic policies.

About two thirds (66%) of executives surveyed said they are designing post-COVID-19 workforce policies with ‘little to no’ direct input from employees.

The same number believe they are being ‘very transparent’ with regards to those policies, but only 42% of workers agree.

Of those surveyed who are currently working fully remotely, 44% of executives said they want to return to the office full time, compared to only 17% of employees.

The results emphatically show that flexibility is important to employees, and if that demand is not met, they won’t hesitate to move on. According to the report, this has remained the case for two consecutive quarters.

While 73% of respondents said they want flexibility in where they work, a massive 93% said they want flexibility in when they work.

“Flexible work practices are now deeply ingrained and valued, and expectations are not budging,” the report said.

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