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Executive Summary

This report is based on a survey of UK businesses carried out by CBI Economics, and Nexus and examines the impact of COVID-19 on future ways of working.

Executive Summary

COVID-19 has had a seismic impact on the world of work with millions of people told to work from home, engagement with clients and networks going virtual and business models rapidly shifting to meet different customer needs. But whilst the pandemic continues to pose severe challenges, it has also uncovered a wealth of opportunities for businesses to thrive in a post-COVID-19 world.


of firms plan to adopt hybrid working models


of businesses expect to work entirely from an office


of companies will use employee satisfaction to measure success of hybrid working

This report reveals key insights from the survey on the experience of businesses during the pandemic and their expectations for the future, including:

  • Radical change as 93% of firms plan to adopt hybrid working models, with employees working both in a physical office/workplace and from their home. Only 5% of businesses surveyed expect to work entirely from an office.
  • Employees being placed at the heart of that change – with firms citing employee preference and wellbeing as key drivers and 86% of survey respondents saying employee satisfaction will be used to measure success.
  • Businesses cited clear benefits of remote working in terms of less travel, more ‘diary time’ for colleague and client meetings, enhanced productivity and the potential to attract a wider pool of talent.
  • But there remains a clear role for physical offices and workspaces in a post-COVID-19 world with businesses recognising the need for interaction in a physical workspace to build teams and networks to collaborate, and to innovate and grow. 70% reported that remote working had a negative impact on brainstorming sessions and 83% reported a negative effect on those valuable ‘water cooler’ moments.
  • UK businesses are implementing change at speed, with around a third already rolling out post-COVID-19 hybrid working models and three quarters expecting to have those models underway by the end of the year.
Group of four colleagues sat in casual lounge environment, conversing.

The survey findings present clear opportunities and challenges for businesses, including:

Two male colleagues sat in a casual lounge environment chatting

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 Key Findings