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Hybrid Working – Reluctant Returners A Challenge

Reluctant returners are the number one challenge facing employers as they attempt to implement new hybrid working models, reveals new data from XpertHR, an online source of legal compliance, good practice and benchmarking information for HR professionals.

Almost all (95%) of the 292 organisations surveyed for its third annual benchmarking survey on the future of the workplace said that they were currently operating a hybrid model, with 59% saying that staff generally spend 2 to 3 days working from home each week. However, 37% say staff are unhappy with this split and would prefer to spend even less time in the office.

In XpertHR’s 2021 report, 75% of organisations said they had experienced unwillingness to return to the workplace. While the main reason then was concern around contracting Covid-19, reluctance now is less to do with the risks of going into the office and more to do with the benefits of working from home.

These include saving money on commuting and childcare arrangements, a better work-life balance, increased productivity, improved engagement and, for employers, a positive impact on attracting and retaining staff.

Respondents did identify some pitfalls, with 40% of UK organisations observing a growing disconnect and divide between staff members who work from home and those who go into the office.

Noelle Murphy, Senior HR Practice Editor at XpertHR, said: “With hybrid working, HR have managed one of the biggest changes to working life since the industrial revolution, but it is still a work in progress. Challenges continue and HR will need to continue to address these, while ensuring this new way of working delivers for all employees – and that includes people managers and senior leaders.”

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