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DWF comments on ONS analysis on hybrid working

23 May 2022

Ann Frances Cooney, employment partner at legal business, DWF, comment on the ONS analysis published on hybrid working. 

She said:

"The ONS analysis on the future of hybrid working highlighted that in February 2022, 84% of workers who had to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic said they planned to carry out a mix of working from home and in their place of work in the future.  The report goes on to state that although the hybrid working pattern has not shifted significantly since April 2021, there has been an increase in workers favouring spending most working hours at home.  The proportion who plan to return to their place of work permanently fell from 11% in April 2021 to 8% in February 2022.  The analysis reported that three quarters of home and hybrid workers reported improved work life balance.  With many employers concerned over the so called "Great Resignation", benefits such as this cannot be ignored.  As we enter a new chapter of Covid-19 with restrictions eased it is interesting to see this snapshot of the workplace.  Employers now have a real opportunity to take stock and consider the most effective workplace of the future; taking into account a variety of factors from productivity to attracting the best talent to the environmental impact.  

"The last two years has seen an unprecedented increase in flexible working arrangements, with the pandemic acting as a catalyst for change.  The statistics show that workers are seeing the benefits of a hybrid working arrangement.  However, with the drive to get people back into the workplace and employers concerned about employee engagement, a balance needs to be struck.  For example, there have been concerns over more junior colleagues missing out on key learning by not attending the place of work and a general lack of teams pulling together.  However, having a blanket policy of not allowing employees to work flexibly can be incredibly detrimental to organisations, from the risk of discrimination claims to a reduced talent pool.  The key is for employers to put a structure in place that works as best it can for all – the best of both worlds."

If you would like more information or support on adopting a hybrid working model for your business, contact Ann Frances Cooney or your usual employment team contact.

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