By Daniel Hunter

Nearly three in four (72%) UK HR directors are concerned about losing top performers from their companies over the coming year, and in a bid to retain staff, are offering other incentives — other than financial remuneration - such as remote-working, according to a study by OfficeTeam, a leading recruitment agency specialising in administrative staffing.

The study queried 1,800 HR directors across the UK, Continental Europe and Asia, and aimed to understand the hiring plans, uncertainties and retention strategies among key decision makers within those companies.

When evaluating trends outside the UK, HR directors in Continental Europe were less concerned about losing staff (52%), followed by 50% in Asia.

To help retain staff, companies surveyed aim to take further steps to improve their work environment over the next 12 months. Four in 10 (38%) UK HR directors are offering or planning to offer flexible-working hours to employees, compared to 28% in Continental Europe, and 15% in Asia.

Phil Booth, Director, OfficeTeam said: “Retaining top performers is often a pivotal element in a company’s growth strategy, however, during uncertain economic times when additional financial rewards are limited, companies need to be able to offer alternative incentives to top performers. Work-life balance is becoming a priority for employees and for firms looking to attract and retain the best staff. Companies need to focus on aspects of the work-life environment that are important to employees, such as telecommuting and flexible working.”

Remote-working has become more prevalent with four in ten (44%) HR directors indicating that the practice has increased over the past three years. When analysing the number in continental Europe, this reduces to 35%, and drops to 32% in Asia.

Phil Booth, continues: “Technological advancements continue to make it easier to work remotely. More companies are embracing flexible working arrangements as a cost-effective way to motivate, reward and retain valuable staff members — many of whom continue to face inactive salary growth, mounting commuting costs and other expenses. It can also provide cost savings to organisations facing rising real estate expenditure and lost productivity due to illness. Furthermore, as companies look to manage employee disruptions during the Olympics, adopting a remote working practice now can help ensure that business priorities remain on track.”