- One in six (17%) of people were hybrid working in late October, rising to a fifth in larger businesses.
- In early November, half of businesses said their workforce had returned to their normal place of work.
- 18% of businesses said they intended to use homeworking permanently.
- The main reasons for homeworking – staff wellbeing, increased productivity, reduced overheads and reduced carbon emissions.
The ONS has released insights into hybrid and homeworking in the latest survey:
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown comments:
‘’This latest data from the ONS indicates that plenty of employees still believe working 9-5 in the office is no way to make a living. Only half of businesses have said their workforce had returned to their normal place of work and although that is up from a third in early September and a fifth in April, there is still so much uncertainty about our future working patterns. With more than one in six businesses already intending to use increased homeworking as a permanent business model, and another one in eight unsure what they will do, the fight for talent is likely to determine company policy going forward. Many recruiters are already reporting that many of the best candidates are demanding flexibility over their working lives and companies do appear to be listening. In the words of Dolly Parton, they are keen to ensure its not all taking and no giving with 65% of companies saying they are using homeworking because of improved staff well-being. More than half of companies (53%) say it’s because of increased productivity and 43% of companies said one of the reasons was that it led to reduced carbon emissions, compared to 34% of companies giving that reason at the last reading, indicating that the urgency for a change of behaviour to limit global warming is being felt by business leaders.
More than half of companies (51%) do expect more than three quarters of the workforce to come back to their normal place of work, one in eleven companies don’t expect staff to return. It seems clear that for droves of staff semi, or permanent homeworking will become the new 9-5. This big shift will have ripples right across many industries as new patterns of consumer behaviour which emerged during the pandemic settle in for the long haul.’’