When working from home guidance was lifted at the end of last month it heralded the start of “The Great Return” to the office for millions of employees across the UK.
On the first Monday back, some commuter trains to the capital were “rammed” as staff made their way to the workplace, the London Evening Standard reported. Some workers “were delighted” to be heading back into the office. But for others, many remain hesitant after two years of working from their homes.
The benefits of a hybrid model adds up, said Guruprasad Srinivasan, COO of Quess Corp, on The Economic Times. “Employees are closer to family, have better physical and mental health, stronger work relationships, improved productivity, choice of location [and] less time to commute to work.” The hybrid model is also “great for diversity and inclusion” as organisations can tap into a wider talent pool.
A study published in November by Virgin Media O2 Business and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) found that the positive effects of hybrid working could save the NHS more than £4bn per year. An extra 211 million hours spent caring for family and friends “could be unlocked by flexible working” and this would reduce the burden on the health and social care services, the report said. Physical and mental health benefits of hybrid working could reduce incidence of fatal diseases and reduce pressure on healthcare services.
The study also found that an increase in hybrid working could bring 3.8m people previously unable to work back into the workforce and could boost GDP by £48bn annually as part-time workers increase their working hours.