Monday 10 May 2021 8:30 pm

Exclusive: Quarter of UK businesses to close or downsize offices as UK embraces hybrid working

More than a quarter (26%) of UK businesses will either close, downsize or consolidate their offices in the coming months, as companies move to hybrid working models.

More than half (53%) of businesses plan to offer more flexible or remote working policies, while 30 per cent are expecting employees in the office between one and three days per week, research by YouGov for HR tech firm Applaud found.

Just 14 per cent of employers are not expecting staff to return to the office at all post-pandemic.

With many office workers having worked remotely or in a hybrid environment for over a year, business attitudes towards flexible working are changing.

More than a third (35%) of firms are planning to develop an employee engagement role distinct from traditional HR to support staff engagement and improve employee experience remotely.  

Respondents also said they want to spend significant resources rewarding employees for their work during the pandemic.

Nearly two in five (18%) businesses said they will look to give employees better pay and/or promotions in the coming months while 46 per cent will implement better remote working tools to ensure continued engagement and productivity in a remote working future. 

Duncan Casemore, co-founder and CTO of Applaud said: “When it comes to the way we work, organisations are embarking on an era of unprecedented change.

“Driven by employee experience, business leaders are turning away from the traditional five days in the office format, instead moving to provide more productive flexible and remote working scenarios.”