The rise of flexible ways of working could help almost four million people previously “locked out” from work to enter or return to the jobs market.
Hybrid working could add more than £48 billion to the British economy each year by allowing parents, carers and disabled people into the workforce and allowing part-time workers to work more hours, research suggests.
Close to half of people currently out of work would be able to resume employment if they could do so remotely according to the study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and Virgin Media O2 Business.
Unemployed carers would be among the main beneficiaries, with more than half becoming more able to find work.
In total, increased hybrid working could mean an additional 3.8 million people could enter the workforce, including 1.2 million parents, 1.5 million people with disabilities, 500,000 with caring responsibilities and 600,000 others who are out of work, Cebr said.
This week the government will propose giving staff the right to request flexible working on starting a new job.
Nina Skero, chief executive of Cebr, said: “By continuing to digitise and embrace hybrid working models, businesses and public sector organisations can fundamentally transform the economy — unlocking a massive GDP uplift, boosting productivity and building a more inclusive society.”