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Confusion on very definition of hybrid working is causing workplace strife

New research published today by Landsec has revealed a distinct lack of clarity around what ‘hybrid’ working means, with less than one in five UK workers agreeing on a definition. This hybrid ‘hotchpotch’ is having a negative impact on bosses’ relationships with their teams.

The research, commissioned in partnership with Censuswide, polled over 800 UK employees across legal, technology, energy and finance firms to understand how employees see the value of the office. Despite hybrid working being the most common working pattern of British office workers today, with the number of hybrid workers almost doubling in just three months earlier this year, over a quarter of respondents (29 per cent) said they were ‘not very satisfied’ or ‘not satisfied at all’ with their employer’s current hybrid working approach.

This increases to over half when focused on graduate and entry level employees (52 per cent). As the economy looks for growth, the ‘hotchpotch’ reality of hybrid working is having a negative impact on UK workers.

Nearly eight in ten workers (79 per cent) identify a strong hybrid working approach as an either somewhat or extremely important factor when choosing an employer. In today’s widespread war for talent, businesses have an opportunity to more clearly define what hybrid means as a competitive advantage. The polling revealed that when an office works well it can benefit employee development and connection between colleagues:

  • 51 per cent of workers feel more comfortable asking for support in the office, vs 36 per cent working remotely
  • 50 per cent feel more confident they have greater career development opportunities in the office, vs 38 per cent working remotely
  • 55 per cent noted stronger connection with colleagues, vs 34 per cent working remotely
  • Research also highlighted the vital role the office has to play in supporting employee wellbeing, with 70 per cent of employees finding it easier to protect their mental health when working some of their time in the office and some of their time at home, compared to all of their time at home.

Oli Knight, Head of Offices at Landsec, said: “There is no doubt the pandemic accelerated the rise of hybrid working. In this new world, businesses of all shapes and size are having to adapt at pace with few sources of inspiration as to what success looks like – and today’s research reveals that hybrid working is poorly defined as a result. This has led to a myriad of different approaches, not all of which are working.

“This naturally raises the question: is this flexible approach to hybrid wrong? At Landsec, we don’t believe so; but we do believe businesses must let their culture define what hybrid means for them. As landlords, we work in close partnerships with our customers to deliver tailored workplace solutions that are as unique as the businesses themselves. This is no doubt a challenge – but not one businesses have to face alone.” 

Landsec has today published ‘The Future Office: Rising expectations in a hybrid world’ – a guide to help businesses navigate what hybrid means for them.

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