New research shows that the coronavirus pandemic has fuelled interest in “work anywhere” and hybrid working job positions in the UK.
There has been a marked increase in the availability of home and office working vacancies, with business leaders saying they intend to maintain a “hybrid workforce” after lockdown ends, according to the research.
According to the data, the increased flexibility and work-life balance of both working from home and in the office would provide a 34% retention of key workers who prefer this dual-working approach.
Moving to a hybrid approach could also increase worker productivity, according to the report, with 21% of respondents saying hybrid working would help with “business continuity”. Additionally, the research indicated a reduction in office costs because of staff members working from home.
However, transitioning the company culture in a home working environment was a concern according to 15% of polled respondents, while 25% believe that they may struggle to remain engaged in their work while out of the office. As well as this, 15% also worry they would struggle with HR compliance while at home.
Despite the challenges, however, 46% of senior managers said they expect a hybrid of a remote and in-office workforce over the coming year, with 34% saying they anticipate a “fully remote workforce,” and 20% foreseeing in-office staffing.
Commenting on the data, Matt Weston, managing director at Robert Half UK, said: “What an employee produces is more important than where they do it, which is why businesses are increasingly comfortable with remote or hybrid working.”
According to Weston, the findings highlight that employers want “agile, adaptable candidates who can effectively marry strong technical capabilities with essential softer skills like interpersonal communication”.
- SP Energy Networks to inspect power lines with drones
- Edinburgh and Glasgow have more than one-fifth of workforce in tech jobs
- Calls for Holyrood election candidates to support DMA data manifesto
Previous research by IGEL into the biggest challenges facing public sector leaders during the pandemic showed that the public sector workforce in Scotland is set to solidify homeworking as a result of the pandemic.
According to Ken Dougan, regional sales manager for Scotland at IGEL, leaders in the public sector say that that working from home was “here to stay,” with almost half of respondents to the research believing that 70% or more of their previously office-based employees would be allowed to continue to work from home in some capacity.
Commenting on the research, Dougan said that sector IT teams have been “incredibly quick and versatile” in adjusting to the pandemic and “successful” in keeping vital public sector services operational.
He added: “In less than a few months, work from home and remote working computing demands have gone beyond being simply desired, to becoming essential.”
At the start of the year, the Scottish Government announced it would inject £1.1 billion into the country’s economy to help tackle unemployment and economic recovery in the country.
Presented by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, the new investment will “help drive economic recovery, bolster public services, and support families”.