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Half of all hybrid workers would leave if forced back into the office

More than half of staff could leave their company if hybrid working was removed, according to a new study. In his second blog post this month, Emprocom’s Health & Safety Consultant, Lee Douglas, looks at how hybrid working has been beneficial to our mental health…

15 June 2022

More than half of staff could leave their company if hybrid working was removed, according to a new study. In his second blog post this month, Emprocom’s Health & Safety Consultant, Lee Douglas, looks at how hybrid working has been beneficial to our mental health…

Emprocom’s Health & Safety Adviser, Lee Douglas, discovers how businesses that are considering removing a hybrid working option and bringing workers back to the office full time, risk losing more than half of their staff in the process.

An online survey by YouGov, commissioned by Microsoft UK, found that 51% of UK workers who are able to combine office work with home-working said they would consider leaving their company, if this flexibility was taken away.

Many organisations have started to inform their office-based staff that they must return to the work premises on a full-time basis after a prolonged period of remote working at home since the pandemic.

However, other organisations have provided their employees with the flexibility to split their work time between the office and the home environment. Many employers recognise the potential business benefits that hybrid working offers and also that it is a model that many employees prefer.

According to the Microsoft UK research of 2,046 employees and 504 HR decision makers (HRDMs) carried out in October 2021, the pandemic made hybrid working a ‘must-have’ for many employees. 59% polled said that hybrid working has had a positive effect on the mental health of their workforce.

The survey also identified five top risks for businesses that did not provide a hybrid working model.
Top of the list, with 38%, was an inability to retain new talent and the risk of losing staff to organisations that offer better hybrid working options.

The other four risks were: a negative impact on productivity (25%); a negative impact on staff wellbeing (24%); employee burnout (23%) and an inability to keep up with industry competitors (23%).

However, for those employees who have taken on new roles during the pandemic, the survey found that on-boarding at a new business has presented some significant challenges. For those workers surveyed, 42% admitted that being unable to attend the physical workplace had made it hard to establish working relationships.

Just over a third (33%) said they had struggled because they had not had a manager or team ‘in the room’ to ask for information or guidance.

On a more positive note, Nick Hedderman, director of Modern Work Business Group at Microsoft UK says: “The pandemic has proven that organisations can trust their people to be productive wherever they are. They now have an opportunity to reshape work around individual roles, preferences and even personal lives.”

About Lee

Lee is a dedicated family man and ex-Serviceman who has a wealth of life experience after spending 20 years living in places including London, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Turkey and Canada with detachments to the USA, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. After leaving the Forces Lee missed living abroad and moved his Family to the Middle East for a work opportunity and they spent several very happy years living in Qatar.

While there, Lee obtained his Masters Degree (MSc) in Security Risk Management. While working for Qatar Petroleum, Qatar’s largest Oil and Gas Company, he was asked to assist in implementing the company’s growing Safety Culture and began his Safety education to obtain NEBOSH Diploma, which he received a few years later.

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