Hybrid working: Employees not asked about their future work preferences

Employers need to consult their staff as research shows nearly two thirds of employees who can work in a hybrid way haven’t been asked about their future preferences.

The number of employers who report that an increase in homeworking has increased their organisation’s productivity or efficiency has jumped significantly over the last year, according to new research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

When asked in December 2020, a third, 33 per cent, of employers said homeworking had increased their organisation’s productivity or efficiency. However, when asked about increased home-hybrid working in October-November 2021, over two-fifths, 41 per cent, said these new ways of working had increased this.

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Despite the reported productivity improvements associated with home and hybrid working, there is a potential mismatch emerging between the ways organisations want their employees to work and how their people want to work.

Home working.Home working.
Home working.

One in four employers want their employees to be in the office-on site all the time, while 39 per cent of employees would like to work from home all or most of the time going forward.

One reason for this mismatch is likely to be because a majority, 63 per cent, of employees who can work in a hybrid way still haven’t been asked about their future working preferences.

Claire McCartney, senior policy adviser for resourcing and inclusion at the CIPD, said: “It’s great that many employers are embracing the benefits of more hybrid and flexible ways of working. However, it’s really important that they work collaboratively with employees to find solutions that work for both the organisation and individuals. This is a crucial moment for flexible working, but a mismatch on expectations and an adhoc approach could set back progress.

“Consulting with employees is a big part of developing inclusive hybrid and flexible working practices.”

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