Employers expect to keep balance of power in shift to hybrid working

Employers expect to retain the balance of power in decisions about post-pandemic hybrid working, according to CBI Economics survey data, but employee wellbeing will be at the heart of those decisions.

Dr Martin Stow, Nexus director
Dr Martin Stow, Nexus director

The Revolution of Work survey, conducted by CBI Economics and commissioned by University of Leeds innovation hub Nexus, revealed that 70 per cent of UK businesses expect the future management of work-from-home and office-based working to be governed by organisational policy. But more than half (58 per cent) of those businesses also expected their employees to play a key role.

Dr Martin Stow, Nexus director, said: “The report shows that whilst UK businesses are clearly planning to embrace hybrid working in the long term, there is still a place for office space and UK businesses have a clear vision about the way offices will be used in the future: as a focus for team-building and strategy days and vital innovation planning.

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“Half the companies surveyed felt that remote and hybrid working had made it harder to be innovative, with a majority observing a negative impact on creative planning sessions and those vital ‘water cooler’ moments, when ideas are shared and new relationships formed, which can be the key to network expansion and business growth.

“UK business owners will be even more focused on the social and networking benefits of future office space and will prioritise workplaces which are designed to create the best environments to deliver collaborative working and shared ideas.”

Anna Leach, CBI deputy chief economist, added: “While remote working has enabled workers to more flexibly manage their work, it has also made innovation more challenging. A blended hybrid working model is the way forward for most companies, with employee wellbeing very clearly front and centre.”