Since the pandemic struck the world, most of the EU workforce that previously worked in offices, were forced to work from home. The huge shift to remote working was made possible by technology, such as online fax services and video conference applications, that provided all the capabilities of being in the office and often with even more benefits. As many companies are now in the position to welcome talent back into the workplace, the next stage begins by asking where the workforce will be stationed in the long term. eFax conducted research asking UK IT leaders about the hybrid workforce model. Here are the results:
Digital transformation initiatives have allowed organisations to move much of their workforce to remote working. Office fax machines have been swapped with online fax services, whilst video conferencing has replaced in person meetings, enabling employees to perform remotely without limitation.
This has worked very well, with more than three quarters (76%) of UK IT decision-makers stating that their organisations could have made the transition to a hybrid workforce sooner, if they were aware of the pros and cons of moving to a hybrid working model, before the pandemic began.
Despite the success, would companies prefer their employees to be back in offices, under their watchful eye? What is stopping organisations from forcing workers back into offices when restrictions are fully lifted? With most employees now accustomed to the flexibility of being able to work remotely, and many employers now offering this in the long term, organisations that do not offer such flexibility risk deterring their workforce and being unfavourable to future talent. Half of all UK IT decision-makers (51%) believe the inability to attract and retain talent and over a third (38%) believe being unable to accommodate family life, are big risks if business does not enable a hybrid workforce. A further third (34%) believe it would risk a disengaged culture among employees.
It is clear that companies have enjoyed success from a hybrid workforce model, made possible by their digital transformation initiatives. Although many employees may choose to return to the office, the possibility to work remotely is a great option for those that wish to use it. A hybrid workforce is here for the long-term.
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