New data, published by Landsec in partnership with Censuswide, shows 79% of people consider hybrid working a key factor when searching for new employment.
The report (which polled 800 British office workers) details that the lack of clarity between hybrid working and flexible working is having a negative impact on the relationship between bosses and their employees.
Sillence Hurn has offered genuine flexible working since the company was founded. Managing Director, Alex Hurn, discusses how flexible working differs from "hybrid".
What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working refers to a level of flexibility regarding where an employee can work from (in office/at home/elsewhere) and how often.
The level of flexibility is decided by the employer, varying from business to business. For some, hybrid working can mean a four-day work week, for others this could mean an equally split five-day week between home and the office.
Challenging the term 'hybrid working' Managing Director, Alex Hurn, said: “Are you empowering your people to decide how they want to work, or are you providing parameters for them to do so to ensure it works for company objectives?"
Less than one in five workers agree on a singular definition of hybrid working, and where there is no universal structure for hybrid workers, this leads to disputes over working patterns - according to the report.
How flexible working differs from hybrid working
Many businesses have kept the hybrid working lifestyle from the pandemic, currently standing as the most popular working pattern today. The number of hybrid workers almost doubled during the first quarter of 2022.
Managing Director, Alex Hurn said: “Skills shortages and higher expectations of work-life balance mean the need for transparency around working hours is more important than ever before. Hybrid working has its parameters whereas flexible working has none.
"Flexible working allows the team to work where they want and when they want - no rules and no restrictions, often mistaken as the definition of hybrid working."
Do all businesses offer flexible or hybrid working?
Fewer businesses now offer the option of hybrid working as part of their new employment contracts. This stems from the confusion about what hybrid working entails, a catalyst for ongoing work pattern disputes.
According to Landsec, 29% of those polled responded with ‘not very satisfied’ and ‘not satisfied at all’ when asked about their current employers’ approach to hybrid working.
That’s more than one in four UK workers who are unhappy with their present work pattern, jumping to over half for those working in graduate and entry-level roles.
Alex Hurn adds: “The data from Census and LandSec shows there is no clear definition of ‘flexible’ or ‘hybrid’ working amongst businesses.
"With Covid-19 largely under control, employers are retreating to tight policies around their working patterns and yet continue to define themselves as flexible. Is this truly flexible?"
What are the benefits of flexible working?
Landsec highlights that 70% of employees find it easier to protect their mental health when they can work how they choose.
Flexible working has improved employees’ work-life balance across the board, benefitting employee development and relationships between colleagues.
Greater flexibility also leads to increased job satisfaction, productivity, and efficiency among employees. This working style can be cost-effective for both employees and employers, also lowering staff turnover rates.
Overall, staff who are granted a flexible approach to work are happier than those who work either purely remotely, full-time in the office, or with hybrid working restrictions.
What do we offer?
Sillence Hurn are genuine flexible employers, dedicated to employee wellbeing, allowing the team to work the way that best suits them.
Alex said: “Our team has full autonomy to decide where they work and when. This has been the case from the outset and will continue to do so. We are committed to a future of flexible working that’s tailored to each member of the team individually, and as a result, our team has expanded in line with propelled business growth."