Schej conducted research across UK managers and staff into their attitudes and experience of office, remote and hybrid working. The results are published in our hybrid work report titled ‘Hybrid Working 2021; Manager’s & Employee’s View’.
Staff were asked, “When you next look for an office job, what type of work would you prefer?” 51% would prefer hybrid work, where they can choose daily to either work from home or go to the office. Just 20% stated they would want remote only and 13% said office only.
The pandemic forced office workers in the UK to stay at home and accelerated remote working. The initial excitement of a better work:life balance and no commuting, now seems to have been replaced by the reality of loneliness, poor team bonding and silo information.
It’s also true that not everyone has a happy home life. Sometimes the office is a safe space – if only for a few hours.
Another possible reason for job seekers not wanting fully remote is the realisation of proximity bias. It’s a term used by Academics to describe the unconscious – and unwise – tendency to give preferential treatment to those in our immediate vicinity.
Staff who are in the office occasionally (rubbing shoulders and having accidental conversations with senior management) are more likely to be praised and promoted compared to their fully remote colleagues.
Ambitious job seekers will realise they have a much better chance of climbing the ladder if they can be seen and get close to senior management in a hybrid working model, rather than leaving it to chance in a fully remote environment.
One of the sections in the report examines the benefits of hybrid working. It’s often quoted that hybrid enables organisations to reduce their office space. But this is not seen by managers as the major advantage. In fact, staff retention and talent acquisition are seen by CEOs and HR managers as key elements.
Top of their benefits list with a combined score of 38.5% was better staff retention, followed by access to a wider talent pool at 29.5%. Saving office space scored a low 17%. UK managers seem to be very aware that candidates and existing staff are seeking hybrid work. They see hybrid as an advantage in a world of skills shortages and competition for the best talent.
Organisations that don’t consider a hybrid working model could find themselves fishing for candidates in a very small pool. But telling all your staff to work from home on a Friday is not hybrid. Hybrid means giving your staff genuine choice on where they work and on what days. Harmonising all that with the needs of the company requires more than a spreadsheet.
The new way of working is so new people can’t even agree on the terminology. Hybrid, blended, flexible, agile? That’s why we decided to get the facts. We published a report to spark informed debate in all the confusion. It reveals if, why and how other organisations are implementing hybrid working. It also shows the benefits and concerns according to those with hybrid experience.
The report shows an occasional disconnect between the views of department heads and CEOs. It also highlights the distance between managers and employees – plus where they all agree.
To get your copy of our hybrid work report, which includes advice and interpretation of the survey results, visit ‘Hybrid Working 2021; Manager’s & Employee’s View’.
Photo by Magnet.me.