The revolution of work

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we think about work and the workplace, shifting expectations of what is possible for both employers and employees.


CBI Economics, a consultancy, and Nexus, the University of Leeds’ innovation hub undertook a survey to understand more about those changes, uncovering key insights into the experience of UK businesses during the pandemic and the challenges and opportunities they face for the future.

This report presents those insights and discusses possible solutions, referencing other relevant publications and thought leadership, both by the CBI and other organisations, to add wider context. This includes the CBI’s March 2021 Adapting to hybrid working (1) publication – a ‘how-to’ guide which the CBI prepared to support CBI members in adapting their business models.

The research explored three key themes relating to the impact of COVID-19 on the work environment:

  • Workspace – the impact of hybrid/remote working and future intentions for office space.
  • Innovation – the impact of COVID-19 on business innovation.
  • Community – the use of business networks and communities.

In this report, ‘flexible working’ is a catch-all term for ways of working that suit employee needs, including having flexible start and finish times, compressed hours, working from home or working part-time. A ‘hybrid working model’ is one component of flexible working in which employees spend some time working both in a physical office or workplace and from their home.


1. CBI (2021) Adapting to hybrid working: how businesses can transition effectively.

Woman sat at a table makes notes, surrounded by colleagues

We surveyed over 300 entrepreneurs and business leaders. Find out what impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on their organisations and how they’re planning for the future.

Read Foreword 

Download PDF of report