Hybrid working is all the rage, as businesses attempt to adjust to new ways of handling COVID-19 restrictions.
In fact, UNLEASH and Fosway have found that 81% HR leaders in the EU believe that the world of work has changed forever.
What Littler found
After speaking to 530 European employers, Littler noted that 52% of employers planned a return to the office, and 36% had delayed the move due to factors including government guidance and vaccination levels.
The study also found 57% of employers are offering flexible office work and 54% believe elements of remote working will improve job satisfaction.
However, belief and reality are not always unified.
Only 28% of employees feel that the hybrid work models offered by their organization suit their preferences. Nonetheless, it seems belief is dictating the next steps that employers will take.
34% of employers think that a model that has office and remote work will improve productivity and 31% think it will reduce physical office costs.
In terms of going back to the office, there are significant differences between EU countries. 65% of companies in France and 62% in Italy are preparing to return to the office, while only 28% in Germany plan to make the same move.
Laura Jousselin, Littler partner in France, discussed the survey’s findings: “Broadly speaking, European employers have been eager to bring their employees back into the workplace – in part due to safety policies implemented and enforced by EU governments.
“Though these policies can help usher along return-to-office plans, amid the wide-ranging novel and complex issues this pandemic continues to bring, employers also remain nimble and focused on adjusting their plans as the situation evolves.”
The next steps for workspaces need to be carefully considered by employers, particularly as experts around the world warn that the pandemic isn’t over.
Raoul Parekh, Littler partner in the UK, concluded that: “The decisions executives make about how to structure their businesses for the long term, and the impact of the wind-down of government support, will continue to transform workforces across Europe in the months to come.”