The hybrid work model will continue to accelerate throughout 2022. As the UK’s labour market continues its recovery amidst the easing of workplace restrictions, more businesses are realising the economic, social and health benefits of hybrid working, according to a research report by IWG – the world’s largest flexible workspace company with brands including Spaces and Regus.
The adoption of hybrid working, and utilisation of flexible office space can significantly reduce a business’ bottom line. Companies are now saving on traditionally fixed overhead costs, including rent, heating, and support staff, adding up to an average of £8,100 per employee.
This creates substantial savings whatever the size of company as the following modelling highlights:
- A global bank with 200,000 employees would make a saving of £1.6 billion
- A tech company with 20,000 employees would save £160 million
- It would mean a saving of £16 million for a services company with 2,000 employees.
Research by IWG has shown that three times the number of FTSE 250 companies are looking to use a hybrid office model compared to those looking to carry on in the same way as pre-pandemic.
Financial savings for businesses aren’t only generated by reducing utilities needed within an office, they can also be created by changing the location of the offices themselves. Office buildings are typically concentrated in expensive city centres, which often means long commutes for staff. These commutes require both time and money that could be spent elsewhere. Research by Confused.com found that hybrid working can save employees on average £328 a month on train travel and accompanying expenses, and up to £128 per month if they commute by car, with long distance commuters saving substantially more.
Businesses are also responding to calls for better work life balance for employee in light of the great resignation. A recent IWG survey found that almost half of office workers (49 per cent) would quit their job if asked to return to the office five days a week, while three quarters (72 per cent) would prefer the long-term ability to work flexibly over going back to the office five days a week with a 10 per cent pay rise.
Hub-and-spoke locations such as those provided by IWG enable businesses to offer a level of flexibility – enabling employees to work wherever they need to, whether that be at home, in the city centre or at a local flexible office location. IWG footfall data demonstrates a steady increase in visits to suburban and rural workspaces, with IWG’s Norwich centre increasing its footfall by 360 per cent in March alone.
There is also the positive environmental impact to consider, as employees reduce their commuting carbon footprint. Research shows that allowing staff to work from home, at least a portion of the time, could reduce nitrogen emissions, the main pollutant from car exhaust, by up to 10 per cent, as a result of minimising commutes for employees throughout the week.
Finally, hybrid working isn’t just saving money for both businesses and employees, it is also creating a positive impact on employees’ abilities to work. A PWC poll conducted last year found that 57 per cent of business leaders said that, thanks to a more flexible working policy, their firms have performed better against productivity measures than ever before, with a mere 4 per cent of business leaders reporting a decline in employee productivity.
IWG Founder and CEO Mark Dixon said, “The rapid global rise in the adoption of the hybrid-working model, where companies use technology to give their employees effective remote access and home working, in combination with easy-to-access local centres and traditional head-office sites, is here to stay. Not only do employees benefit from a dramatically improved work-life balance, but the model also represents a significant win for a company’s bottom line as well as employee bank balances. By switching to a hybrid model, businesses can expect to save an average of £8,100 per employee, all while minimising their carbon footprint.”