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Business leaders convinced hybrid working will increase profits

Nearly three-fifths (59%) of UK business leaders believe that hybrid working makes companies more profitable.

According to research by workplace tech company Owl Labs, post-pandemic businesses will reportedly look to introduce more permanent hybrid working policies, as they feel the past year has brought about positive change for employees and employers.

Just over two-fifths (41%) of business leaders believe remote and hybrid working has impacted their business positively, the report found.

Furthermore, 88% said they are keen to explore progressive policies aimed at the future of work post-pandemic such as working from anywhere, unlimited holidays and four-day working weeks.

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Alexia Cambon, research director at Gartner, said mass hybrid working over the past year has demonstrated how it can positively change workers attitudes.

She told HR magazine: “Recent Gartner research shows that hybrid employees are more likely than onsite employees to display high levels of agility, psychological safety and team equity, which are all crucial ingredients of team collaboration.

“Hybrid teams are unable to leave to chance how, where and when they work for lack of visible, predictable work patterns.”

With this more intentional approach, she said, team members are able to be more inclusive of diverse working preferences.

“They are also able to create a work environment in which all employees feel able to contribute and this creates a greater opportunity to drive creativity, innovation and performance.

“As a result, adopting a hybrid approach could help businesses become more profitable." 

The abruptness of the pandemic meant businesses had no choice but to make quick decisions about how their teams could work, which left most worried about performance levels.

However, Owl Labs CEO Frank Weishaupt said he was encouraged to see the majority of UK business leaders embrace hybrid work post-pandemic and start adopting more progressive policies such as working from anywhere.

He told HR magazine: “As organisations have adapted to working remotely, they’ve seen how profitability and productivity remain positive.

“The UK is leading the way in investing in new technology which will continue to play a key role in supporting this permanent shift to hybrid work.”

Weishaupt added businesses that successfully make the long-term transition to hybrid working will be the ones who adopt the infrastructure and workplace policies and will reap the benefits.

“They’ll be the ones that are enable their employees to maintain high levels of creativity and collaboration, wherever they dial-in from,” he said.

Owl Labs surveyed 500 business leaders in May 2021.