What Research Suggests About the Growing Popularity of Hybrid Work
What is hybrid work? This is work completed through a mix of remote and on-site means. How popular is it? Globally, 53% of workers seek a hybrid working model where over half of their work is remote, according to a recent press release posted by PR Newswire.
Fortunately for workers, there are signs that employers are taking note. In surveying 2,000 employers, the UK's Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that 63% of these intended to expand hybrid working, as ITV has reported.
A lot of research has been done on the subject of hybrid working as it emerges as an increasingly accepted post-pandemic work practice. So, what does this research suggest about whether, if you are an employer, you should implement a hybrid working system for your own employees?
Is hybrid working here to stay?
The figures certainly give that impression. In one study, 82% of workers have reported feeling at least as productive with hybrid working as they did with pre-pandemic working methods.
Many workers have also expressed anxiety about returning to the office. In the study, this discomfort was especially pronounced in Australia, the UK and Canada - with, respectively, 53%, 52% and 51% of workers in these countries admitting to feeling it.
Alain Dehaze - the Chief Executive Officer of HR solutions company the Adecco Group, which commissioned the study - commented: "For those who are not bound to being physically present to perform their work, it is obvious that we will never return to the office in the same way and that the future of work is flexible."
What constitutes 'flexible' working?
We can garner an insight from the CIPD's reaction to the findings of its own study on hybrid work. The association called the productivity advantage of hybrid working "clear", but added that it was crucial for employers to implement hybrid working in a manner that prioritized "wellbeing, communication and collaboration to recognize people's individual preferences".
Claire McCartney, the CIPD's senior policy advisor for resourcing and inclusion, explained: "Not everyone is able to work from home, either because the nature of their job doesn't allow them to, or for wellbeing reasons."
She added that employees "who can't work from home should still be able to benefit from having more of a choice and a say in when and how they work".
How could you accommodate workers' varying preferences?
Some measures suggested by Ms McCartney include working total contracted hours over fewer days or sharing jobs with other people. When flexible options like this are on the table for your employees, you could find your business with less use for a permanent, long-term physical base.
Hence, you could consider, for now, renting a flexible serviced office from BE Offices rather than committing your business too strongly to any specific workplace.
A serviced office booked on a short-term basis could provide various crucial features - like high-speed internet connectivity, on-site security and pro-working lounges - but remain easy to relinquish if abrupt changes in your employees' circumstances would force a change of plan.