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  • Hays’ Quarterly Insights Survey reveals that 44% of employers in Scotland expect staff to be required in the office more regularly over the next 12 months
  • However, 22% of organisations who allow staff to work in a hybrid way, have enabled their teams to work from any country when working remotely
  • 41% of Scotland professionals are currently working full-time in the office
  • Hybrid working has improved work-life balance for 77% of individuals

The latest Quarterly Insights Survey from Hays, the leader in specialist recruitment and workforce solutions, has revealed that, whilst 68% of employers in Scotland are offering hybrid working, just under half of those surveyed (44%) expect staff to be required to work more regularly in the office over the next 12 months. Nearly a quarter of workers (22%) also think their employer will ask them to attend the office more frequently over the next 12 months.

The survey of 500 respondents in Scotland also revealed that 41% of workers say they are currently working full time from the office, even though the majority (67%) would prefer to work either in a hybrid way or remotely.

Of those who do offer hybrid working, a quarter of employers surveyed provide complete flexibility when it comes to employees choosing the days that they’re in the workplace. And 22% said staff can work remotely from anywhere, including abroad, when working in a hybrid model.

Commenting on the findings, Hays Scotland director Keith Mason, said: “The difficulty in finding talent hasn’t gone away and whilst hybrid working isn’t ‘one size fits all’, employers need to recognise that offering flexibility will continue to be important when attracting staff.

“At Hays, we’re seeing that most of our younger generation coming through the ranks now want to be in an office rather than working from home. They still like the option of hybrid working to take advantage of flexibility, however, they prefer an office setting more than experienced staff do.

“It’s an interesting debate, as people tend to be more productive when in the office but will work harder, or longer, at home. Leaving on time to get public transport to commute home tends to mean deadlines will be pushed, whereas at home, working longer to get through work is often normal. There can also be less interruptions at home compared to the office. But in an office environment, leadership teams can provide better support with focus and strategic hands-on direction, whereas at home the employee is broadly working under their own steam.”

The survey showed that greater flexibility, improved work-life balance and reduction in time and money spent on commuting are just some of the main benefits of having a hybrid offering. For employers in a tight labour market, it also extends the range of where you can hire from, for example, if staff from further afield might be willing to commute a couple of days a week.

One of the main benefits of hybrid working is a better work/life balance, compared to full-time office working, which was reported by 77% of professionals. However, 44% said they typically work longer hours when working remotely.

“Employees’ priorities changed during the Covid pandemic,” says Mason. “A lot of companies were already debating and adopting flexible working prior to the pandemic as a differential to their competitors, but this is now seen as more of the norm. I’d recommend employers go with a hybrid working offering that suits their ethos and culture – however be cautious of alienating potential talent with less flexible policies.”

*The research is based on a survey carried out between 14th June – Friday 1st of July 2022 that received 8,258 responses from professionals and employers across the UK, including 500 from Scotland*

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