Sunday 09th May 2021
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Need to retain 'talent' set to drive shift to hybrid working

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Only a small minority of mid-market businesses in the East of England - just four per cent - expect to return to the office full time and most expect to adopt a mix of remote and office working after the pandemic, according to a survey from Grant Thornton UK.

With ‘talent retention’ set to be a key driver for the shift, nearly three quarters of firms in the survey said that employees will expect flexible working options to be available. Most are also set to invest more or the same in ‘employee wellbeing' services over the next six months.

A majority also said that a hybrid of remote and office working would be most effective for their people and many expected employees to spend more time working remotely than in an office. But the survey also highlighted concerns over employee mental wellbeing, managing the work of junior staff and a reduction in productivity from hybrid working.

James Brown, partner and practice leader at Grant Thornton UK in the region, said: “It’s clear that remote working will play a much bigger role than ever before in the way we work, following the profound disruption of the last 12 months. The role of the office is set to change for many businesses in the East – reducing in its importance for a significant proportion. For some this will be driven by the chance to reduce overheads. But for others, the switch to a remote-first model is likely to be motivated by the battle for talent, as they look to maintain a competitive edge in a new climate where choice of employer is no longer restricted by location in many sectors.”