Report shows social and economic benefits of hybrid and remote working

The Government should introduce a National Remote and Hybrid Work Strategy to embed the benefits of hybrid and remote working, according to a new report.

Woman working part-time from home

 

Hybrid and remote working has boosted the number of women, particularly mums, who can work full time, with three quarters of hybrid workers saying it improves their work-life balance, according to a new study.

The study by the Hybrid Work Commission found professional women have become more likely to work full time – in finance and insurance, up from 75 per cent to 83 per cent. The change was even more pronounced for mothers, it says, with the proportion working full-time increasing by more than 10 percentage points in finance and IT.

The commission found that three-quarters of hybrid workers felt it improved their work-life balance, and 70 per cent of those with children under 18 said it made juggling their responsibilities easier. However, a majority of employers operating with hybrid work arrangements were not convinced they boosted productivity. The commission said this “perception gap may be enough to stunt British businesses’ ability to maximise the benefits of hybrid and remote work”. The report also showed evidence of benefits to recruitment, retention and diversity.

It concludes that hybrid and remote work can improve work-life balance, productivity, diversity and inclusion while reducing emissions and costs, although it also poses some challenges and inequalities, such as perception gaps and sectoral differences.

The report recommends that employers should seek to create moments for purposeful interaction, connection and collaboration by ensuring that employees have a reason to be in their office if they are required to do so. It also calls on the Government to develop guidelines to support businesses to measure productivity in a hybrid and remote working environment and on employers to offer line managers and those with management responsibilities training on hybrid and remote work to help them support their teams with hybrid working.

Other recommendations cover a review of parental leave policies with a view to developing a more equal playing field and a call for the Government to introduce a National Remote and Hybrid Work Strategy to ensure that remote working is a permanent feature in the UK workplace in a way that maximises economic, social and environmental benefits.

The Hybrid Work Commission was established to explore the rise of hybrid working make recommendations to the UK government to harness the benefits for people and communities across the country. The report was compiled with data and analysis from Liverpool Business School’s employment and HR expert Gemma Dale along with Zoom, Vodafone, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Indeed, The Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Prospect Union and the Office for National Statistics.



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