Fifty-one per cent of UK workers who currently have the choice of hybrid working would consider leaving their company if this option was removed, according to new research by Microsoft and market research firm YouGov.
The online survey of 2,046 employees and 504 HR decision makers (HRDMs), which took place between 7 and 15 October 2021, also revealed that 59% of HRDMs surveyed agree hybrid working has had a positive effect on the mental wellbeing of their workforce.
More than a third (36 per cent) of UK workers who started a new job since the start of the pandemic experienced their entire onboarding process without visiting their workplace. These workers say they have struggled with: forming working relationships (42 per cent), not having a manager or team “in the room” to ask for information or guidance (33 per cent), learning to use new software and applications (24 per cent), earning the confidence of colleagues (23 per cent), and soaking up company culture (21 per cent).
Thirty-six per cent of HRDMs felt remote onboarding makes it hard to provide effective, role-specific training for new starters; 35 per cent voiced concerns about ensuring employees have easy access to the information they need to hit the ground running; and 28 per cent are worried about upholding their organisation’s culture and reputation.
Despite these findings, employees and HRDMs believe that the long-term benefits of hybrid working outweigh the disadvantages. Of greater concerns among HRDMs is the impact on retaining new talent (38 per cent), employee productivity (25 per cent), wellbeing (24 per cent) and contribution to employee burnout (23 per cent).
“The pandemic has proven that organisations can trust their people to be productive wherever they are,” said Nick Hedderman, director of modern work business group at Microsoft UK. “They now have an opportunity to reshape work around individual roles, preferences and even personal lives. This is achievable through tech-enabled hybrid working models, which supports the creation of a rich digital culture to benefit everyone, helping to attract and retain top talent.”