With 69% of businesses around the world struggling to recruit the talent they need, it’s more important than ever to make your company as attractive as possible.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers took the time to reflect on what working meant to them and whether they were satisfied with the direction of their careers. Some retired early, some changed jobs and others took the brave leap to start their own businesses.
But even those who stayed in the same jobs experienced dramatic changes. With the pandemic accelerating the adoption of hybrid working, less time was spent in physical offices and workers found new ways to stay productive and connect with their teammates. Moreover, it became possible to strike that all-important work-life balance that for many, had once seemed unattainable.
It therefore came as no surprise when studies revealed that 77% of workers said that they wanted to work closer to home in their next job. Indeed, those who have not been able to continue working in a flexible way have become disillusioned to the point of quitting their jobs altogether, contributing to the so-called ‘Great Resignation’ of 2022.
But it should be noted that the desire to work flexibly does not mean wanting to work from home for five days per week. As time goes on, studies suggest that some home-based workers are starting to experience high levels of fatigue. Many find that working alone on a daily basis isn’t always rewarding.
As a result, many workers are looking for that ‘third’ way – one that incorporates the best of office life and remote working. Now, the vast majority of employees want to enjoy the balance offered by a hybrid working model.
They want to reduce the amount of commuting, but they want to meet their teammates in person, not just online. They want flexibility to choose both where, and how they work. Hybrid offers people the chance to work at home when they need space and quiet time, but also enables work to take place from an HQ or hub office when they want to collaborate. As an alternative, local workspaces are on hand when employees simply need social interaction or a team check-in without the long travel time.
Employers across the globe are beginning to understand that in order to get the best talent on their team and keep their top employees, they need to adopt this flexible, multi-faceted way of working. If a business has always operated in a traditional way, this could all sound like a risk. But inaction is a risk too – as competitors who offer hybrid working appear more attractive to prospective candidates.
The change is happening fast. One leading global enterprise, Standard Chartered Bank, has recently conducted a huge listening exercise with its tens of thousands of staff around the world. They’d mainly been working from home during the pandemic, but the expectation was that – like most employees in the sector – they’d have to go back to the office as soon as it was safe to do so.
The bank had allowed a degree of flexible working before, but was surprised by the huge desire for change among almost all its employees.
A huge number said that what they wanted most in the aftermath of the pandemic was the freedom to work the hybrid way. So now the bank is changing its model – involving massive alterations to its HR and IT functions along with a major shift in how its teams operate in nine key markets around the world. They’re convinced that hybrid working is the future, which is why they’re building a global partnership with IWG to help deliver the change.
In addition to making talent acquisition easier, there are other reasons why hybrid working is good for business.
For one, it supports a sustainable future. By adopting a hybrid-working model, your business provides a more sustainable way of work to your employees – lowering commute times and reducing your carbon footprint. People want to work for companies with a strong commitment to sustainability. In fact, 64% of respondents to a recent study described it as a “major factor” in influencing their choice of organisation to work for. Commuting is the cause of an enormous amount of carbon emissions in many different countries. Hybrid working means a company is more likely to meet its environmental targets because it lowers carbon emissions by vastly reducing commuting and by not heating and cooling empty offices.
It can also boost the bottom line. Cutting down on the number of permanent offices a business operates and shifting to a ‘hub and spoke’ model can lead to a significant reduction to fixed overheads. Global Workspace Analytics estimates it can save businesses up to around £9,000 per hybrid worker, per year.
Hybrid working improves productivity too. Studies show that the number of high performers within an organisation increases when they are given flexibility like that offered by hybrid working . It stands to reason that workers who have the opportunity to reach their goals in efficient ways will be more likely to stick with a business. And improved productivity will more than cover the cost of the investment.
Top organisations all over the world are waking up to the benefits of hybrid working and listening to what top talent needs to thrive. The more a business can accommodate their desires in all its markets, the more it will benefit.
The image any business presents is vitally important to prospective staff. If it can demonstrate that it is adaptable, has a modern approach to working and is focused on how to get the best out of its employees, then outstanding candidates are much more likely to choose it as a potential workplace.
That could give a business a crucial competitive edge in this most challenging of recruitment environments.
With the clear global movement towards hybrid working, there’s no question this high demand for flexible workspaces is offering investors a once-in-a-generation opportunity to capitalise on the hybrid boom. And as the world’s leading workspace and coworking provider, IWG is in the right place and time to offer partners that chance.