Wednesday 23 June 2021 6:00 am

More than eight in 10 UK firms plan on hybrid workforce after the pandemic

Some 84 per cent of UK businesses plan on having a hybrid, flexible or remote workforce after the pandemic, according to new research.

The State of Hybrid Work study, carried out by tech firm Owl Labs and covering 500 business leaders, found that only 16 per cent of companies expect workers to return to the office full-time.

Profitability boost

Nearly two-thirds of business leaders believe that hybrid working makes a company more profitable, while 41 per cent believe remote working has impacted their firm positively.

“It’s encouraging to see the majority of UK business leaders embrace hybrid work post-pandemic and start adopting more progressive policies such as working from anywhere,” said Frank Weishaupt, CEO of Owl Labs.

“As organisations have adapted to working remotely, they’ve seen how profitability and productivity remain positive.”

New era for working

A staggering 88 per cent of respondents are keen to explore policies aimed at the post-Covid future of work, such as working from anywhere, unlimited holidays and four-day working weeks.

Following the success of business policies adopted during the pandemic, 47 per cent stated that hybrid working boosts employee retention, while 30 per cent believe it reduces illness.

However, for business leaders supporting the return to the office, over a third are planning to enforce vaccine passports to only allow those who have been jabbed into the office.

Meanwhile, 35 per cent will consider providing on-site Covid testing facilities to encourage employees to return to work.

Tech investment

A robust tech stack will continue to help companies fuel a hybrid working model after the pandemic.

Consequently, nearly half of business leaders are investing in new tech and solutions to support the shift in working trends, according to the research.

“The UK is leading the way in investing in new technology which will continue to play a key role in supporting this permanent shift to hybrid work,” Weishaupt added.

“Businesses that successfully make the long term transition to hybrid working will be the ones who adopt the infrastructure and workplace policies that enable their employees to maintain high levels of creativity and collaboration, wherever they dial-in from.”