Hybrid working can increase productivity

4 May 2022

The number of employers who report that an increase in homeworking has increased their organisation’s productivity or efficiency has jumped significantly over the last year, according to new research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

When asked in December 2020, 33% of employers said homeworking had increased their organisation’s productivity or efficiency; when asked about the greater use of home/hybrid working in the period October and November 2021, however, 41% said these new ways of working had resulted in an increase.

At the same time, the number of employers that say the increase in home and hybrid working has had a negative impact on their organisation’s productivity has fallen to just 18% compared to 23% who previously said the rise in homeworking had decreased productivity.

The new research by the CIPD, based on a survey of over 1000 employers and 2000 employees, gives, it suggests, a clear picture of how organisations and individuals are now approaching hybrid and flexible ways of working as businesses look to “live with Covid”.

The CIPD warns of a potential mismatch emerging between the ways organisations want their employees to work and how their people want to work given that 25% of employers want their employees to be in the office/on-site all the time, while 39% of employees would like to work from home all or most of the time in the future.

One reason for this mismatch is likely to be because a majority (63%) of employees who can work in a hybrid way still have not been asked about their future working preferences.

Claire McCartney, senior policy adviser for resourcing and inclusion at the CIPD, said: “Consulting with employees is a big part of developing inclusive hybrid and flexible working practices. Employers who listen and are open to testing, learning and adapting will benefit from a more diverse workforce and the ability to retain and attract a wide range of talent. This is particularly crucial at a time where the labour market is so tight.”

Comment by Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula

Many employers are keen to embrace remote or hybrid working to afford their staff a better work-life balance whilst saving on costly office space expenses.

Similarly, employees are reducing their outgoings on commuting and appreciating having employers who support their lifestyles and person circumstances. With more employees working from home than ever before, it’s important employers take steps to ensure their workplace is safe and comfortable.

Remote-based workers should be afforded the same opportunities and attention as staff working on-site. As such, employers should have clear communication channels in place, so they can engage with their remote workforce as easily as people in the office.