Working in a recruitment agency like Journey Recruitment, we speak to hundreds of candidates each week. One of the most important questions we ask candidates at the very beginning of our conversations is: Have you got a preference when it comes to working style, and are you willing to work in a fully office-based role?
After finding that the for the vast majority of people we speak to hybrid working seems to be the preference, we decided to run a LinkedIn poll to see what the preferred working style was for people in 2023 and see how this matched up to our findings. Not surprisingly, 71.2% of people surveyed preferred hybrid working to going into the office full time (13.6%) and working fully remotely (15.3%). Therefore, we wanted to take the opportunity to discuss why hybrid working is the preference for staff and for our candidates.
Less Time and Money Used Commuting
Firstly, the huge reduction in commuting costs and time seems of huge importance for individuals. An article from Bloomberg found that on average, people saved 72 minutes of their day if they had the option to work from home. That’s a staggering amount of time when each minute is so precious. To use our own team findings, one of our staff members utilises hybrid working on a Friday, and on this day saves nearly 120 minutes of commuting and about 20 miles worth of petrol each day!
We even find that having to come in the office every single day seems to be a real deal breaker for a lot of our candidates. Even if the salary is large and the benefits and location are fantastic for them, candidates will turn down a role if the job is fully office-based without the option for hybrid working. Interestingly, we find that a lot of candidates will even be willing to take a significant pay cut to have the option of hybrid working as they feel this dramatically reduces the stress of commuting alongside reducing commuting costs and driving hours.
Increased Happiness and Retention
Secondly, it has also been shown that hybrid working leads to increased happiness and staff retention. A study completed by IWG showed that 60% of HR professionals believed that offering hybrid working lead to increased retention and 95% said that staff were happier overall. This could be because hybrid working offers the best of both worlds. Humans are social animals and having some office time is of great importance due to it allowing increased collaboration in jobs that rely heavily on teamwork and creating more of an office culture. Requiring staff to come in some days a week means that the office culture will continue to thrive. However, some days staff need to work on data entry style tasks or written pieces of work with some time to focus, so splitting time in the office and time at home depending on the tasks that you are completing each day seems to allow the perfect split of quiet and collaboration.
The Option of Choosing How to Work
We also understand that not all office workers like to work remotely, or even on a hybrid basis. Many people, including our 13.6% of our voters prefer to go into the office every single day. We tend to hear this preference from some young workers who are keen to go in and learn on the job whilst socialising with peers and those who crave that daily interaction. By adopting a flexible hybrid working style on a choice basis where staff can decide whether they use it or not, this means that you can cater to both groups of people and increase satisfaction all-round.
Increased Access to Suitable Roles
Another benefit our candidates find is the increased number of jobs they can apply for. If we post a job with the word ‘Hybrid’ in the title of a job advert, we definitely tend to find that we get more applicants to that job. People seem to be willing to travel further to a role if they have the option of hybrid working as they have to travel less often. Not only do the candidates tend to benefit here as they have more roles available to them, but companies tend to benefit due to an increased talent pool from candidates based slightly further away.
Improves Productivity at Work
A lot of our candidates say that they are more productive when they work from home. Studies on this have been mixed, with some reporting that staff are more productive at home and others saying that staff procrastinate as they aren’t watched by management. Realistically, this is probably dependant on job type and task style, so allowing a mix of both means that candidates feel they can benefit either way.
We hope you enjoyed reading our findings and thoughts about why hybrid working is the preference for staff at the moment. Please do check out our socials for video updates on recruitment and career related topics on our TikTok page: https://www.tiktok.com/@journeyrecruitment