Will the threat of terror drive businesses out of cities?

Britain’s professionals admit fear of terrorism impacts their career choices.

With increased concerns around safety in public places, particularly with this weeks terror attack near Westminster in London, over half (52.7 per cent) of UK workers have revealed that they would be less likely to want to work in a big city as a result of the continued threat of terrorism.

The news comes from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job site, which conducted a survey of over 1,000 workers to explore how terror threats influence career decisions in the UK.

The research suggests that whilst the majority of professionals (82.6 per cent) have not yet let the rise in terrorism influence their decision on where to work, they have admitted that they would be more cautious moving forward:

Over a quarter (26.3 per cent) of professionals said that commuting to work via train or underground makes them feel especially nervous
Over half (52.7 per cent) of UK workers are less likely to look for work in a big city like London, Birmingham, Manchester or Leeds
As a result, 62 per cent believe that workers in big cities need increased security because of the threat of terrorism

The issue of who should take the lead in addressing these concerns is a complex one, and respondents believe that responsibility lies with the government (67 per cent) and lesser so with businesses (13.1 per cent) themselves. Luckily for city-based professionals, the UK government is

already taking steps to ease these worries by implement terror training schemes for workers in metropolitan areas.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments, ‘The continued threat of terrorism is a sad reality of the world we live in, and it’s important that the government and businesses alike take steps to address the concerns of UK workers. This is especially important for employers with offices in major cities; losing out on the best talent because a candidate or employee is afraid would be a real shame and something that employers simply cannot afford in the current climate.’

According to the research, only 17.2 per cent of UK businesses have addressed the threat of terrorism with their staff, but the research finds that workers would feel safer if their employer did communicate what the possibility is, and how to handle the worrying situation.

In fact, 85.7 per cent of professionals would feel less nervous about working in a major city if their employer had a plan in place.

Biggins continues, ‘These findings are actually positive news for businesses and could help them into a position of control. After all, our research suggests that tackling the issue head on by opening up the lines of communication and putting plans in place can help to ease employee fears.

‘Ultimately, no business can stop these events from happening, but whether you have the ability to implement a plan or not, talking through the potential threat with employees can help to demonstrate the value you place on your workers and alleviate any potential concerns.’

Owen Gough

Owen Gough

Owen Gough is a reporter for SmallBusiness.co.uk. He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

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