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U.K. Study: Third of Employees in Manufacturing Sector Feel More Powerful Post-Pandemic

With pandemic-driven remote working helping to accelerate change in the way businesses operate, UK employers in the manufacturing sector are now being forced to offer increasingly attractive packages to their people as new research shows that a third of employees feel they have more power now than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data, from Benenden Health’s ‘Workforce of the Future’ report, also found that almost half of working adults in the sector (46%) believe that the pandemic has changed their relationship with their employer.

The effect of this change is a significant power shift from employers to employees, with more than a third (37%) of workers in manufacturing feeling that they have more power now than before the pandemic, putting pressure on employers to carefully consider what they are able to offer workers amidst the ‘Great Resignation’ and debates over return to workplace policies.

The survey also found that workers in the industry are now increasingly likely to extend future job searches to wider geographical areas in the hunt for employment that provides their desired flexibility, satisfaction and benefits.

Whilst the average employee working in manufacturing today lives 15 miles away from their designated workplace, workers revealed that they would now be willing to take jobs 43 miles away from home on average.

With more than 3,000 workers at 60 companies in the UK now trialing a four-day working week from, three-day weekends (41%) were revealed to be the number one thing that manufacturing employees would like to see introduced in the next five years, whilst a fifth (20%) now believe that an offer of wraparound healthcare is a necessity.

Benenden Health is encouraging employers in the sector to consider their approach to recruiting and retaining talent as we move away from the pandemic with this new dynamic in play.

Naomi Thompson, Head of OD at Benenden Health, said: “The Great Resignation and the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on traditional working structures will be historic, and our research shows a hugely significant shift in the power balance between employers and employees and with the average worker telling us that they plan on leaving their current job in the next five years, businesses are now facing a crucial crossroads.

“Whilst employees have increasingly open minds with regards to where they work and what their role consists of, employers still need to take action to be an attractive proposition to the talent pool.

“The world of work has undoubtedly changed for good and it has never been more important for businesses to consult with their employees and ensure that they are providing the necessary tools and support to create a healthy workplace where people want to be in an increasingly competitive job market.”

Benenden Health is a mutual organisation offering high quality, private healthcare at the same affordable cost for everyone. This includes round the clock care such as 24/7 GP and Mental Health helplines, plus speedy access to services such as physiotherapy and medical treatment.

For more information about Benenden Health and to view its ‘Workforce of the Future’ report, go to

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