The ongoing labour shortage has forced many businesses to take a step back and re-evaluate their overall employment "package" to stand them apart from competitors.

An employer survey conducted by employment law firm Lewis Silkin found that nearly two thirds of employers think flexibility over work location is increasingly important for incentivising staff.

A third thinks it is becoming just as important as pay, the survey also reveals.

However, as the cost of living increases, employees will be much more careful about leaving their jobs, said Síobhra Rush, partner and head of the Dublin office of Lewis Silkin.

"I think employees will be more circumspect, but I don't think that will allow employers to become complacent looking at their workforce and looking at ways to attract and retain talent," Ms Rush said.

"I don't think employers can guarantee that employees won't leave just because of those factors," she added.

During the pandemic, people have been reevaluating their lives. Ms Rush said employees are increasingly focusing on their own wellbeing, they want more flexibility, they want to work with an employer who lives the values of sustainability.

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"Salary and status aren't really motivators for employees any more," she said. "They want a sense of belonging and purpose, they want to know that the company is living to its values, and looking at increased benefits such as mental health days, contributions to childcare and fertility treatment support."

She said some employees are looking for time off to take up volunteer work. They want to know that their employer cares about potential burnout, and supports career breaks, or rethinking work hours as well.

Generation Z are a real driver of change, she said. "They are very vocal on not wanting to burn out, wanting to work flexibly and wanting to work on different projects and develop different skills."

"I think employers need to rethink working hours, they need to think of different work patterns for different employees who want to do outside of their work."