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.
The survey findings present clear opportunities and challenges for businesses, including:
Businesses want to exploit physical workspaces to enable innovation, creativity, and collaboration, so should consider making use of tech-enabled workspaces, increasing collaborative space in their existing workspace, and making use of business communities, resources and collaborative research projects to get the best support.
Businesses should consider consistently communicating their commitment to hybrid working models to employees, role-modelling key behaviours, and making use of shared workspaces.
Businesses can access well-established innovation ecosystems, make use of funded partnership and grant schemes, and take action within their organisation to fuel digital transformation.