October 4, 2021

Is hybrid working the better future of work?

What will happen as employees move to permanent hybrid working?

The pandemic-accelerated shift to remote work is the most substantial change to the global working style of our time. Sophisticated software tools have enabled companies to adapt to the radical changes in how they operate. But, how are we – companies, employees and their families – faring? And, what will happen as more and more employees and their companies choose their version of hybrid working as we all adjust to our new normal?

At the onset of the pandemic, there were huge fears about how global business would cope and survive, and in an earlier era, they might not have. The ability to do so has been the silver lining. It has forced companies to rethink ways of working and created room for these experiments. Covid has forced or justified businesses to leverage technology and go (further) online, unlocking benefits for companies and employees. It has democratised work, enabling access to previously inaccessible jobs. And, it has allowed employees to work from where they choose.

Whilst markets are back to all-time highs, a lot of businesses and especially employees have suffered - both physically and mentally. We are increasingly prioritising issues around wellbeing; there is hope this will lead to longer-term workplace changes.

Coming out of lockdown, many companies have announced a remote-first or blended approach moving forward. It would appear hybrid working is here to stay and is certainly on the radar for all companies. It is not just “large tech” leading the charge, but many industries (BP, Siemens, Verizon, etc) - and including client-facing businesses (e.g. Deloitte, Freshfields, etc).

Data from employee surveys suggest that employees prefer some form of hybrid working. Some even see it as a perk with the greater flexibility it allows to work schedules, commuting and living location.

For employers, it is great for hiring. Hybrid working unlocks more opportunities to hire from, no longer restricted to those living within commuting distance. In a tight labour market, there’s a clear benefit to accessing more talent and from lower cost areas, as well as the reduced office costs.

Companies that entirely reject hybrid working will have challenges, especially in employee retention, losing out on new talent, and integration challenges with other companies that adopt hybrid working.

We've seen a lot of enthusiasm and excitement around hybrid working change, but some can find this change disruptive and alienating. We’re continuing to develop the Tahora platform and the services we offer to support employees in the new world of work - and as always, enjoy hearing views on these developments.