Before the pandemic, remote and hybrid working wasn’t as common as it is now. Most workers faced the daily commute and worked full time in an office environment. This changed when the UK was forced into a national lockdown on March 23, 2020.
Employers once opposed to remote working had no choice but to ask employees to work from home.
With most restrictions now lifted, employers have opened their office doors again. However, the working landscape and how employees want to work has drastically changed.
For the 2022 Drewberry™ Return to Work Survey, we asked 1,000 UK workers about their working patterns before lockdown.
Unsurprisingly, 73% of respondents said they worked full time in the office.
Post-pandemic, working is very different. Employers and employees have discovered the benefits remote that working has to offer and they aren’t prepared to give them up.
More people now work from home, and traditional office working appears to be a thing of the past for many.
Despite most employers implementing hybrid working, some have insisted that their employees return to the office full time.
Of the 276 respondents who said they are now back in the office full time, 44% said they would prefer a hybrid way of working.
Understandably, employers want to welcome their employees back to the office, but insisting they come back full time could be a mistake.
During lockdown, employees showed they could work just as well, if not better, from the comfort of their own homes. Productivity levels increased, stress reduced and work-life balance improved.
By taking this benefit away, employers could reverse these effects. Even worse, they could lose top talent to competitors who offer hybrid working and flexible hours.
Home working and flexible hours are two of the most sought after employee benefits.
By offering them as part of a comprehensive benefits package, employers can improve employees’ working experience and increase business performance.
This is because, as a valued employee benefit, home working and flexible hours can:
Not offering remote working or flexible hours could potentially damage businesses and their employees. Before ruling these options out, employers must think carefully about the knock-on effects of being less flexible for their employees.