Workers of the world unite a hybrid future awaits

The latest data on hybrid working from the Office for National Statistics – the nation’s official record keeper for all things statistical – makes interesting reading.

They show the huge shift the pandemic has made in attitudes to work and the conditions in which it is carried out.

And with the recruitment crisis gripping the country ever more tightly by the day, they also show that employees are increasingly able to call the shots over where and when they work.

The data shows that most people who worked from home in the pandemic plan to carry on doing so to some extent in the future.

The ONS asked workers about their future plans in February 2022, after government guidance to work from home when possible was lifted in England and Scotland.

More than 80 per cent said they were now planning to work remotely at least some of the time. Since then, the proportion of workers hybrid working has risen from 13% in early February 2022 to 24% in May 2022.

ONS figures also show that the percentage working exclusively from home has fallen from 22% to 14% in the same period.

In February 2022, 84% of workers who had to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic said they planned to carry out a mix of working at home and in their place of work in the future.

The figures for February 2022 show that they now plan to spend more of their time working from home than they indicated when questioned in April 2021.

In February 2022, 42 per cent of those questioned said they planned to work mostly from home, and sometimes from their usual place of work, as opposed to 30 per cent who favoured this model in April 2021.

At the same time, just eight per cent said they planned to go back to their usual place of work permanently against 11 per cent in April 2021.

If the supply of labour far exceeded the jobs available, none of this would be so important.

But as we all know, it does not. There are more jobs vacant than people to fill them so both jobseekers and existing employees are in a good position to make sure their workplace reflects their own needs and values.

If your boss is not being flexible or the work culture is poor, you have some leverage to get something done about it. That doesn’t mean being unreasonable, but it does mean your employer should be keen to listen to your viewpoint and accommodate it.

We’ve got decades of experience of helping staff create workplaces which work for both employees and employers. Get in touch today if you need help building a great workplace for the future.

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