Despite the economic hardship faced by many during the course of the pandemic, new research demonstrates the popularity of hybrid working with the vast majority of office workers, choosing the long-term ability to work flexibly over a pay rise and a return to the office full-time.
New research by IWG, the world’s largest provider of flexible work and office space with brands including Spaces and Regus in Ireland, revealed that 72 per cent of office workers would prefer a hybrid model over going back to the office full time with a 10 per cent pay rise. Two-thirds of those aged 25-34 would not consider applying for a job if it did not offer such terms.
The figure is even higher for young employees, with 84 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds electing for flexible working practises over more money. The research indicates young people place a higher value on having control over their schedule and commute in comparison to other age groups. Those aged 55-64 years old are two and half times more likely to opt for a 10 per cent pay-rise (41 per cent).
These statistics reveal the dramatic and permanent shift the pandemic has caused in employee attitudes towards the workplace. In fact, 83 per cent of workers would now be more likely to apply for a job if it offered a flexible way of working. Following the hybrid work model, workers are now looking to permanently divide their time between home, a local office, and occasionally visits to a corporate HQ.
However, the majority of 18–24-year-olds (90 per cent) also believe working from an office provides them with better work-life boundaries, with more than eight in ten (84 per cent) stating that the office allows them to be more collaborative. Furthermore, 82 per cent think their career prospects may be harmed if they are not able to go into the office, with the lack of face-to-face time scuppering their ability to develop employability skills and social capital required to succeed in the workplace.
The need for flexibility during the working week combined with the benefits of office access demonstrate the importance of businesses providing their employees with a hybrid work model to ensure freedom of choice to suit a variety of lifestyles.
Not only does the hybrid work model benefit the business bottom line, but it has also been found to benefit the mental health and wellbeing of the workforce, with 60 per cent of respondents noting the flexibility of working across two workspaces making an improvement to their mental health. In addition, 67 per cent are happier in their jobs now that they can work flexibly.
Mark Dixon, Founder and CEO of IWG, said: “Over the last 18 months we’ve seen businesses recognise the benefits hybrid working has on their bottom line, but this latest research demonstrates the importance of hybrid working to the lifestyles and happiness of employees across the country.”
“The hybrid model allows employees to achieve a better work/life balance while retaining the collaborative and social benefits of an office environment. The fact many are more concerned about a flexible work policy over a pay-rise speaks volumes as to the permanent behaviour and mind-set shift caused by the pandemic.”, said Dixon.