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Hybrid work or the highway, say half of UK professionals

hybrid work uk

Just over half of UK workers that currently have the option to work remotely and in the office would consider quitting if the hybrid option was removed, research has found

The survey, commissioned by Microsoft UK and YouGov, provides insight on how employee dealbreakers have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recent data from Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows both resignations and job-to-job moves in the UK are at the highest level in the past two decades. The trend has been dubbed the “great resignation” and has created a job market that favours employees.

This has given workers more bargaining power to switch to a company that provides better work-life balance, higher pay and the option to work from anywhere.

HR professionals participating in the survey agree that hybrid working has become beneficial for employees. Some 59% of those working in HR said hybrid working has had a positive effect on the mental wellbeing of their workforce.

While 51% of UK professionals would consider quitting without the option of hybrid working, there are downsides to the arrangement. Some 48% of respondents said they find it harder to feel part of the office culture while working remotely.

The research finds that over 53% of UK workers who started a new job since March last year were onboarded remotely.

However, survey participants reported remote onboarding difficulties with earning the trust of colleagues, not having a manager in the room with them and absorbing company culture.

Despite these issues, both employees and human resources and development managers (HRDMs) believe that the long-term benefits of hybrid working outweigh these initial challenges. The research hints that the most pressing concern identified by HRDMs is the lack of a hybrid working model.

The Microsoft-funded survey found that 37% of human resources and development managers (HRDMs) believe remote staff onboarding problems can be resolved with the right technology.

And it’s not just staff who have been benefitting from the shift to remote working. Tech companies providing video communication and collaboration software, such as Microsoft, Slack and Zoom, have seen their revenues soar.

The insights and findings are based on online surveys of 2,046 employees and 504 HRDMs in the UK.

Nick Hedderman, director, modern work business group, Microsoft UK, said: “The pandemic has proven that organisations can trust their people to be productive wherever they are. They now have an opportunity to reshape work around individual roles, preferences and even personal lives. This is achievable through tech-enabled hybrid working models, which supports the creation of a rich digital culture to benefit everyone, helping to attract and retain top talent.”