It’s been over three years since the start of the pandemic, which means flexible working is no longer the ‘new’ normal. In fact, according to the Office for National Statistics, 1 in 4 workers are now hybrid.
Despite this, a growing number of employers are keen to get their workforce back on site. Of course, many people are reluctant to make this change; a recent study found that 77% of respondents would rather leave their jobs than lose their flexibility.
As the battle rages on, we’re taking a look at the reality of flexible working, and what employers must do if they want to encourage teams back into the office.
What does flexible working look like?
Flexible working allows employees to vary their schedules and location. The hybrid model is a huge part of this, with many operating on a 3:2 basis – three days in the office/on site, and two at home. Some companies even offer 100% remote working opportunities.
That being said, flexible or hybrid working isn’t possible for all industries. For example, many roles in the marine sector typically require workers to be out at sea, and therefore don’t offer the flexibility you might find as a Vessel Compliance Officer.
What are the benefits of flexible working?
Ultimately, flexible working enables employees to build a better work-life balance. They can shape their hours around the school run, for example, or start earlier/later to shorten the commute.
Benefits for employees include an enhanced sense of loyalty, increased job satisfaction, higher productivity, and better mental wellbeing. But there are advantages for employers too, like higher staff retention, lower absenteeism, and access to a wider talent pool.
Why are employers keen for a return to the office?
Although 60% of employers say flexible working is integral to their employer brand, it seems many are eager to get workers back on site.
In the TALiNT Partners report, 98% cited collaborative working as their main reason for wanting employees to return to the office. But other aspects like employee engagement, company culture, client meetings, and training and development are also factors.
Putting office value proposition into practice
If employers are committed to getting their workforce back into the office permanently, or on a hybrid basis, they’ll need to make this an attractive option, especially to fresh talent. That could be implementing the 3:2 model, allowing flexible hours so staff can avoid peak commuting times, or building a work environment that caters to each employee’s individual needs.
Mobilise your workforce with WRS
Do you hire contractors from overseas? While your workforce might not have an office to work from, they may require help moving to their new location.
WRS offers end-to-end global workforce solutions, finding the best talent and even taking care of the relocation process, including Visa applications and more. To find out how we can help you, get in touch with our team today.