Hybrid working could boost social mobility in the UK, according to new research, as young people from disadvantaged backgrounds favour the pandemic-era model more than those who are wealthier.
Over a third of those surveyed from lower-socioeconomic environments think hybrid working can give them a better work-life balance, 10 per cent more than 16 to 21-year-olds with different backgrounds, according to accountancy and advisory firm BDO.
The key reasons are the costs of commuting – an often-forgotten levy to the march back to the office – as well as having more time to look after their children or other family members.
Research by the Social Mobility Commission last year revealed that workers from more affluent upbringings are more likely to take jobs away from home, which means better-paid jobs are frequently less accessible to poorer communities.
Though around 26 per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed said that a hybrid work style would encourage them to move for work – granting them more flexibility to travel back to see friends and family.
“Some of the benefits of hybrid working have been widely discussed, but the appeal to those from disadvantaged backgrounds and the potential impact on social mobility should not be overlooked,” Partner at BDO, Sarah Hillary, said.
“If changing working practices can help reach young people in social mobility cold spots, businesses and government should be seizing the opportunity to improve access and opportunity for young people in these areas.”