NEW YORK-I just read about an FPC Workplace Web Poll—and it had some startling results with major implications for today’s companies.

The bottom line: There may be a major shakeup in the employment marketplace in 2012. As employees see the job market improving, they are looking around for new opportunities. Consider the numbers:

  • 79% say they are planning to look for a new job when the job market improves

  • 50% felt they had gained marketable skills and lack advancement opportunities in their current position

  • 28% indicate they would move on at least in part due how their employer treated its employees during the recession

  • 8% stated that they were well treated and planned to stay put

Only 8 percent. Survey respondents were relatively indifferent to work-life balance perks either as a selling point for a new position or as a “keeping” feature for their current employment. Half of respondents indicated that perks such as casual Fridays, free lunches, and company-sponsored events were important to them, but would not dissuade them from considering a new position that did not offer them.

“As the economy and the job market continue to improve for college-educated management professionals, we’re seeing a level of pent-up demand for career change that candidates may have put off over the past couple of years due to economic uncertainty,” Ron Herzog, CEO & President of FPC. “Despite much of the negative commentary we all hear these days, employers are finding that they need to compete to attract and retain their top talent. Companies should be thinking about this in a proactive way.”

Virtual office space can help you stem the tide of turnovers, and stop the bleeding of best and brightest talent going to work for your competitors. You can maintain high levels of engagement with virtual office workers, as well as empower employees. Engagement and empowerment are two pillars of a happy workforce.

With virtual office space, you are offering more than just another work-life balance perk. Alternative workplace strategies give employees the flexibility and freedom they need to handle personal and business issues as they arise. In fact, many studies show that employees who work from a virtual office actually work longer hours in the end and are overall more productive. So as you consider your talent attraction and retention strategies for 2012, consider virtual offices.