The current buzz word on the lips of every business in central London and to a lesser degree the rest of the UK, but what is it Hybrid Working and what does it really mean to me as an employer or more importantly how will it affect employees.
Prior to the pandemic the norm for office workers was generally to work 9-00 till 5-00 in the same office and have face to face internal and external meetings in the office or other offices. The working week revolved around the geographic office, as did the working social life. Lunch meetings and evening drinks were all a standard part of the fabric of the working week.
During the first few months of the pandemic of 2020 there was a common perception that Covid-19 accelerated pre-existing trends. However, this doesn’t really detail the collective disruption to office work. Before the global pandemic home working represented a small fraction of the office hours. By early summer in 2020 the figure was closer to 65 per cent.
Clearly this was enforced rather than chosen although most new home workers would say the change from the work office to the home has gone better than expected. Staff are working longer hours, but they report higher levels of happiness and productivity, although the counter argument from mental health statistics suggest this may no longer be the case. As lockdowns lift, working from home is likely to stay but maybe not in the numbers seen during the height of lockdown, especially the younger workforce.