[Re: Demand for London offices unphased by remote work, Nov 28]
Despite what your article’s headline implies, we are not seeing a return to 2019 ways of working. The pandemic showed us that, with the trust of an employer, hybrid working gives workers the flexibility to work the times and hours that match the wider priorities in their life. This has opened doors for a wider cohort of people to build a career in sectors that may
have been previously closed off to them. Ensono research found 76 per cent of women in the UK working in tech said hybrid/remote working had created more opportunities for them in the job market.
The problem we face going forwards is old inequities creeping into the hybrid workplace. With the office increasingly becoming a focal point for face-to-face meetings and other watercooler moments amongst staff, there is a risk that this privileges men, with women more likely to take up opportunities to work remotely to support caring responsibilities at home.
Into 2023, employers cannot attempt to graft old attitudes onto the workplace. Businesses will need to support opportunities for advancement across a diverse, thriving workforce. Workplace culture should not only mean “Thursday drinks” or boozy Christmas parties in the Square Mile, rather embrace the differing needs and choices of staff about when and where they work. Failing to do so will be a crucial misstep if employers wish to attract and retain talent.