The Covid-19 pandemic forced the world to work from home, and while many adapted to the new way of working, some couldn’t wait to return to the office. Since coming out of the various lockdowns and bouts of working from home, it has become apparent that hybrid working is now the new normal for many workers.
In May 2022, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed their recent ‘Opinions and Lifestyle' survey, where they looked closer at hybrid working and the approach to flexible working following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The survey revealed that the proportion of employees who had taken a hybrid approach to work steadily rose from 13% in February 2022 to 24% in May 22. In an opposite trend, those exclusively working from home fell from 22% to 14% in the same period.
Those surveyed were asked why they preferred hybrid working over other approaches to work, and the responses were as followed;
- 78% said that it gave them a better work/life balance
- 52% said it was quicker to complete work at home compared to being in the office
- 53% said they had fewer distractions
- 47% reported that they saw their well-being improve
Hybrid working is not only beneficial for employees but also for businesses. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, only 5% of the workforce worked from home, this was due to many factors, but fundamentally it came down to the uncertainty surrounding productivity. However, with no choice but to work from home during the pandemic, it showed employees productivity increased, and businesses saw a more efficient workforce as a result!
It seems that hybrid working is the new middle ground that allows employees to spend one or two days a week in the office where they can plan, collaborate and connect with their colleagues while retaining a high level of productivity and work/life balance. Removing the commute for some days of the week also reduces carbon emissions – a win for the environment too!
There are many reasons for a business to maintain a hybrid approach to working, but the main points highlighted in the ‘Opinions and Lifestyle' survey included;
- Improved staff well-being
- Reduced overheads
- Increased productivity
- The ability to recruit from a wider geographical pool
- The ability to better match jobs to skills when recruiting
Let’s take a closer look at why a couple of these reasons are beneficial to both the business and the employee.
IMPROVED STAFF WELL-BEING
After a turbulent couple of years, employees have reported that hybrid working has improved their overall well-being. This is not only great for the employees who are feeling happier and healthier because of a better work/life balance, but it is also good news for businesses.
Improved well-being can lead to increased productivity, lower absence rate, and a positive work environment – whether that's online or in person. These will all have a positive outcome on your business as you will see a more efficient and cost-effective workforce.
THE ABILITY TO RECRUIT FROM A WIDER GEOGRAPHICAL POOL
When recruiting for new employees, you may have found geography has restricted you in the past when working exclusively in the office - with a hybrid approach, you'll find that candidates are willing to travel a little further if it is only for a couple of days a week.
Therefore, you could find your next star employee who would have been out of reach in the past, is now within touching distance.
GREATER CANDIDATE ATTRACTION AND RETENTION
With more candidates looking for a role that allows them the flexibility of hybrid working if you can offer it for the position you’re advertising, then highlight it in your advert text. Detail what the balance will be in advance so candidates can plan their travel – especially if they are applying from further afield. It could make all the difference when someone is reading your advert!
Hybrid working now offers you and your employees the best of both worlds where you acquire a more efficient workforce and employees gain a better work/life balance. You know what works for your employees with their well-being, productivity, and processes, work with your employees and ensure they're supported with whichever approach you choose.
Our cloud-based recruitment software means that you can log in and work in the system anywhere, meaning you can stay on top of your recruitment whether you are office-based, hybrid or exclusively working from home.
To find out how Reach can work with you to attract top-quality candidates to your roles, email [email protected] and speak to one of our knowledgeable team.