New research finds that the biggest challenge for UK hybrid workers is relationship-building and establishing connections.
Over a third of employees (35%) said that this was the main problem they faced. Despite the pressure of a cost of living crisis, half of employees would rather have great relationships at work over a 10% pay increase.
HubSpot’s 2023 Hybrid Work Report revealed feelings and patterns towards hybrid working and found that 47% of UK talent would choose a four-day work week over a salary increase. Flexibility is high on the list of priorities too – when asked what they would choose to boost their productivity, most employees (70%) picked flexible start and finish times.
Employers may need to beef up benefit packages to recruit and retain top talent as employees seek cost-of-living support beyond a salary. UK workers that work from home said that they would feel more motivated to visit the office if commuter benefits and catered meals were part of the package (58% and 56% respectively).
Other top challenges cited were the management of remote employees (26%) and a lack of alignment between in-office and remote employees (21%). When UK hybrid employees were asked what their main reason for office visits were, 51% said it was to connect with colleagues and 37% said to use the office to communicate more efficiently with colleagues.
Worryingly, nearly a third (31%) of employees do not regularly feel engaged at work. Out of these same employees, 44% consider themselves to be quiet quitting, while 23% feel they will in the near future.
When it comes to making parents’ lives easier, the UK and Ireland are the least supportive countries with just 14% (UK) and 13% (Ireland) of parents receiving childcare subsidies. This compares to 37% in the US, 34% in Colombia and 23% in Germany.
The UK is also higher than the global average in regards to the number of days spent working at home. Almost two fifths (18%) of hybrid workers in the UK are only visiting an office once a week, but the most common number of days in the office is two (34%).
Furthermore, the data showed that employees want investment that fosters a strong culture including engagement and team building events (45%), communication and collaboration tools (36%), diversity, inclusion and belonging (31%) and sustainability (26%)
Flavia Colombo, General Manager UK&I, at HubSpot said: “People clearly care about getting on with others in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean employers should scale back on flexibility or force people back to the office. Companies need to help employees find meaningful ways to connect both in-person and online by providing tools and support that work on a personal level. If failing to do so we will see a bigger impact on employees’ engagement, belonging and loyalty to their organisation and it will lead to higher attrition rates.
“It’s an employee’s market and people no longer accept the bare minimum in culture and benefits. Employers must distinguish what will nurture the sense of being cared for by an employer – whether that’s benefits, working hours or the right collaboration tools to boost morale and thus a sense of connection and purpose to the business.”
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