July 14, 2022
A new poll from XpertHR claims that nearly all UK organisations (95 percent) have encountered challenges implementing hybrid working, with reluctance to return to the workplace the leading issue currently faced by employers. Of the 292 organisations XpertHR surveyed, almost all (95 percent) operate a hybrid model. For most (59 percent) organisations, staff generally spend between 2-3 days working from home each week, however, over a third (37 percent) of staff are unhappy with this split and would prefer to spend even less time in the office.
Reluctant returners are by no means a new phenomenon. In XpertHR’s 2021 report, a similar share of organisations (75 percent) said they had experienced unwillingness to return to the workplace. The main reasons for it then were rooted in concerns around contracting Covid-19, but in this year’s survey XpertHR found motivations had shifted away from the downsides associated with going into the office and more towards the benefits of working from home – for example saving money on commuting and childcare arrangements.
Survey respondents were clear on the benefits of hybrid working for employers and employees alike, including improved work-life balance, increased productivity, improved engagement and a positive impact on attracting and retaining staff.
While improved work/life balance as a result of hybrid working was expected, there were more question marks around the impact this model would have on productivity. Survey respondents were clear that productivity has improved or increased, with many referencing the blend of remote working with workplace attendance allowing for better use of employees’ time – focused work can be done while remote, while in-person interactions can have employees’ full attention while in the workplace.
However, respondents also identified some of its pitfalls. Four in ten (40 percent) UK organisations said they are observing a growing disconnect between staff members who work from home and those who go into the office, and fear a divide is beginning to form.