UK businesses lose £195 million on job-hopping workers

Half of British workers are looking to change jobs in the next year, leading to employers finding themselves significantly out of pocket as they face the reality of managing an unproductive workforce.

Research by UK job board Totaljobs and employer brand specialists Universum has revealed that the cost to businesses of workers hunting for new employment totals a staggering £195 million. The study of 16,000 workers found that one in two employees are looking elsewhere for a new job.

With over half of workers (54%) planning to change jobs in the next year, employees admit to spending around 1 hour and 24 minutes of work time each day being unproductive. This idle work time will cost the economy up to £195 million a day. A further 38% of employees hope to make a job move within the next six months, while just one in ten (10%) anticipate they will still be working for the same employer in four years’ time.

Job-hopping workers and loss of productivity

Despite working hours reaching an all-time high and more people employed than ever before, productivity in the UK has already seen a dramatic drop. Government figures show that output has dropped to its lowest level since 1991 which is blamed on job insecurity, low wages, and inflexible work practices.

Putting aside the measurable costs of hiring and onboarding new employees when someone leaves after job-hopping, loss of productivity can be just as costly. Nearly three-quarters of workers (75%) admit that they are unproductive at work. When asked what would improve their productivity, a quarter said improved flexible working opportunities. Meanwhile, one in five (18%) said a higher holiday allowance would help burnout, while 17% identified remote working as a way to help increase their output.

Unchallenged and unsatisfied workers

20% of UK workers say a lack of feeling challenged in their work caused them to be unproductive. This increases to four in 10 of those intending to switch jobs in the next year as they look for new employment challenges elsewhere. Statistics show that, once an employee hands in their notice, productivity drops by a further 20%.

The cost of low productivity will likely be of considerable concern to employers but for employees, money may not necessarily be as important. Two-thirds of workers say they would stay in a job if they enjoyed it, rather than move for a higher salary. For those workers focused on changing employment, the biggest driver for 30% of workers is career progression; 32% said professional training and development: and 25% said it was because they felt there was a lack of progression in their current role and responsibility.

Satisfactory job industries

According to the research, the workers who felt most satisfied in their current position and the least likely to change employments worked in:

  1. Auditing and Accounting
  2. Passenger Transportation
  3. Law and Legal services
  4. Technology
  5. Construction and Engineering

Meanwhile, those that felt the least satisfied with their current role worked in E-commerce, Media and Logistics.

Totaljobs and Universum’s ranking of the most attractive employers also revealed that topping the list of the most sought-after places to work in business and economic related roles were Google, followed by the NHS, Apple, Amazon and the BBC.

For advice or support with your next recruitment campaign, contact HR Solutions on 0844 324 5840. Find out about our Fixed Fee Recruitment service at




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