UK & Ireland Government Relations Manager

10 Policy Ideas to Help the UK Seize on Its “Hybrid Working Potential”

10 Policy Ideas to Help the UK Seize on Its “Hybrid Working Potential”

The last two years have seen a dramatic shift in the British public’s expectations of how, when, and where they expect to work.

According to official data from the Office for National Statistics, hybrid working is popular with 85% of those who worked from home during the pandemic, and more than half of all UK employees (57%) are expected to work from home some of the time going forward — more than double compared with pre-pandemic levels.

To examine the potential of this transition and the benefits it may bring to employees and employers alike, we’ve launched The Hybrid Advantage: How and Why the UK Can Strive To Become the World Leader in Hybrid Work. 

Our report explores how:

  • Hybrid working models can help boost the productivity of workforces, with 71% of companies surveyed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development saying that home working has either boosted or kept productivity levels the same. 
  • An increase in hybrid working could provide a £76bn boost to UK GDP over the next four years, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, helping drive forward the UK’s post-COVID recovery.
  • Organisations that fail to adopt hybrid working models will struggle to attract and retain the talent they need to thrive, with 83% of workers telling researchers from the International Workplace Group that they are more likely to apply for jobs that are listed as flexible.

Technology is ingrained into every aspect of our lives, and nowhere is it changing how we live more than in the workplace. The pandemic has only hastened these changes, with 85% of businesses saying that the pandemic prompted them to speed up their digital transformation, according to McKinsey.

We believe everyone should be able to benefit from these changes, which is why we included a list of 10 policy recommendations in our report that can help to embed hybrid working in the UK for the long haul. This includes making flexible working the default in the UK, requiring recruiters to clearly set out the types of flexible roles available in their job adverts, and publicly funding a network of local co-working hubs in every community — building on the fantastic work being led by the Irish Government which Zoom is proudly supporting

Embracing hybrid working can help deliver the UK’s policy goals

As part of our report, we collaborated with recruitment company Indeed to identify the towns and cities in the UK that have seen the most significant growth in remote job opportunities over the pandemic. In each of the top 25 remote hiring hotspots, there was a strong correlation between areas that have experienced a significant boom in remote working opportunities and the strength of their job market overall.

These results were seen across the whole of the UK, including in the North of England and Midlands (regions at the heart of the UK government’s economic and jobs policy agendas), with towns such as Burnley seeing a 391% increase in the number of remote roles advertised and Stoke experiencing a 323% rise. With hybrid working making it easier for local businesses to attract and retain talent by expanding the available talent pool, this indicates that the shift to hybrid working that is underway is already helping to ‘level up’ the country and deliver the UK Government’s flagship economic policy goals for it.

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Making the most of the shift  

The experience of working remotely during the pandemic has changed the world of work forever and the benefits of greater hybrid working — as set out in our report — are clear for all to see. The workplace is evolving, and now is an opportunity to tailor it to everyone. 

You can read the report and our 10 policy recommendations in full here.

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