Nine in ten employers of knowledge workers offer hybrid working. Nearly all would like them in the office more

91% of companies have employees hybrid working and nearly all have tried to encourage them to come to the office moreAround 91 percent of companies with a workforce that can work from home currently offer some form of hybrid working, according to a new poll of 500 HR professionals from Towergate Health & Protection. On average 39 percent of the workforce are hybrid working and 27 percent of employers have more than half their workforce hybrid working. The poll also suggests that 30 percent of employees work from home for at least three days a week. Employers stated that 31- 40-year-olds are the age group most likely to want to work from home, and over 60s and under 25s are least likely to want to work from home.

It would appear, however, that employers are keen for their employees to return to the office, with 98 percent having implemented a measure to persuade their employees back to the workplace. The vast majority of the actions taken by employers have been to ‘encourage’ employees back to the office but a still significant 37 percent of employers have made some office days mandatory.

In response to which, if any, of the following have firms tried to encourage employees to return to the office, the responses were:

  • Organised more on-site socials (41 percent)
  • Made free drink and/or meals available (40 percent)
  • Organised on-site wellbeing days (38 percent)
  • Made access to in-person counselling available (38 percent)
  • Offered access to a gym (38 percent)
  • Made some office days mandatory (37 percent)
  • Subsided transport/commuting costs (34 percent)
  • None of these (2 percent)

Debra Clark, head of wellbeing for Towergate Health & Protection comments: “With so many people still working from home for at least some of the week, health and wellbeing support needs to be adaptable to all scenarios. Employers should look to offer as wide a range of support as possible and make it easily accessible from the workplace, and remotely, and we’re seeing more employers using employee benefit platforms to help with this.

“Many employers are still offering some level of flexibility over work locations and the drive for a return to the office has mostly been on a voluntary basis. The important thing is ensuring that the employer is still able to engage with their employees, regardless of the work setting. Employee benefits and support will need to remain flexible and adaptable to both scenarios.

“The support and benefits implemented to encourage employees back to the workplace have a further advantage of helping to support the four pillars of health and wellbeing. Access to gyms, in-person counselling, on-site socials, and subsidised transport costs mean that the physical, mental, social and financial aspects of health and wellbeing are all being catered for. What is vital, however, is that employers ensure these needs are met for home or hybrid workers too.

“Different employees thrive in different settings and what is best for one person may not be best for another. There are advantages and disadvantages of hybrid working and decisions will need to be based on what is best for the employee, weighed up with what is best for the business. Each business will have different needs for office-based and remote working and there are gains to be made from both.”