Is hybrid working the future?Hannah
In our last blog on flexible working – we talked about the great resignation and that 1 in 5 employees (20% of the workforce) would move jobs within the next 12 months.
There were several reasons but a major one was that employees are seeking a flexible work place, with 60% of younger and highly skilled workers saying they would prefer to work fully or mostly from home.
The preference for hybrid working
PwC ( Price Waterhouse Cooper) in a recent survey found being able to work from home was a priority, although a majority want to mix it with at least some time in the office.
According to latest ONS figures:
- One in seven working adults in the UK (14%) said they were purely doing their jobs from home offices in late April and early May.
- Another 24% said they had adopted “hybrid” working patterns where they are in an office or other workplace part of the time.
- Just 17% said they would prefer to be working full-time or mostly in the office.
The pandemic forced resistant managers and business owners into allowing their staff to work from home because they had no choice.
“Temporary solutions to business problems, such as hybrid working, have turned into employee preferences and expectations.” – Sarah Moore, people, and organisation leader at PwC
Lord Sugar, who made his fortune selling personal computers, cast doubt on how hard people work from home in a recent tweet:
“This is a bloody joke. The lazy gits make me sick. Call me old fashioned but all this work from home BS is a total joke. There is no way people work as hard or productive as when they had to turn up at a work location. The pandemic has had long lasting negative effect.”
The conclusion is that there is a conflict of opinion between employees and Mr Dinosaur Business Owner that might lead to workplace volatility.
Is the Hybrid approach working?
Some business people are scorning the hybrid approach as being an unproductive way of working but for most, hybrid working not only improves employees’ lives but their productivity too.
In a recent study 31% of those surveyed said their productivity improved, and 55% said it remained the same, meaning the vast majority of employees are not negatively affected by the approach.
- 86% of employees have the same or better productivity when working from home.
- 45% of office workers that are not hybrid working would consider leaving their job to do so
To be or not to be in an office?
We read in the press that demand for commercial property is still booming and office space is hard to come by this can be explained in part by:
1) The great resignation, when many people during the pandemic – be it on furlough or working double shifts – reassessed their work life balance and decided they wanted to do something different, and many started their own business.
- 5,300 Micro businesses (1-9 employees) were set up in 2021
2) A lot of commercial property is being developed as business centres for micro & small business to rent without the burden of building maintenance when leasing a property.
3) An additional service offered by these expanding business centres are the virtual office and services.
The opposite approach is that many businesses are choosing not to have a physical office as the working from home through the pandemic has proved a revelation and created a new way of working that is proved more effective, more productive, and more profitable.
Here are 3 options:
Here at CDI Alliance, we know an MD of a digital agency with 30 staff, who had a city centre office, which they have recently given up as all the staff voted to continue to work from home. So instead of paying £5k rent per month, they spend £1k per month to host a company meeting in a hotel, saving £48k per year, which is profit on the bottom line!
We are hearing similar stories where businesses are keeping a physical office but have reduced their office space as they introduce a hybrid approach of part office and part work from home, with small % of staff occupying the space on a rota or departments/teams in on specific days.
We at CDI Alliance have operated a virtual office since we started the business 11 years ago. Our choice to go virtual rather than physical was based on our activity i.e., as consultants we spend time with our clients in their premises and an empty office would be an expensive overhead. We use the facilities of the business centre – postal address, telephone service and meeting rooms to host internal or client meetings. This works for us but may not be for everyone
The start of the 4-day week!
Thousands of UK workers are starting a four-day week trial from Monday 13th June 2022.
About 70 companies are taking part in what is thought to be the world’s biggest pilot scheme into the working pattern over the next six months.
During the trial, employees will get 100% pay for 80% of the hours they would usually work, with the aim of being more productive. Read the full article here.
The typical work place is changing, and flexible location working is becoming a popular option for both employees and employers.
Many business owners are rethinking the whole work pattern after the pandemic restrictions and now are thinking more about productivity rather than hours, working smarter rather than faster and a better work life balance for themselves and their employees.
While some companies have already embraced flexible working practices and are enjoying the associated benefits, there are many still not yet convinced but can you afford to remain a dinosaur?
We work with many businesses large and small across a range of strategic and operational issues, if you would like support or advice about how to introduce more hybrid working within your organisation then contact us for a discussion: email@example.com