Only 2% of mid-sized businesses in East Mids plan to return to the office full-time

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According to a new study from business consultancy Grant Thornton UK LLP, only 2% of mid-sized businesses in the East Midlands plan to return to full-time work after the pandemic.

The majority of respondents (88%) said that a hybrid between remote and office work would be most effective for their employees, with more than a third (35%) expecting employees to spend the rest of the time working from home.

However, workplaces were still seen as an important part of working life, with just 8% of companies planning a transition to full-time remote work. Yet more than half (61%) of businesses believe they will need to make changes to their desk or workspace to make sure it is suitable for their needs.

Research suggests that talent retention is a key factor in the shift to hybrid work, with 57% saying employees will expect flexible work options to be available after the pandemic.

This new hybrid working model is not without its challenges. Mid-market business leaders in the region who have seen an increase in working from home over the past year have reported a lack of time with clients (49%), training challenges (45%) and reduced productivity (43%). as their top three concerns for a shift to greater remote work.

Dave Hillan, Partner and Practice Manager at Grant Thornton UK LLP in the region, said: “It is clear that remote working will play a much bigger role than ever in the way we work, after the profound disruption of the 12 last months. The role of the office is set to change for many businesses in the East Midlands – reducing its importance by a significant proportion.

“For some, this will be motivated by the possibility of reducing overhead costs. But for others, the shift to a priority remote model will likely be motivated by the battle for talent, as they seek to retain a competitive advantage in a new climate where employer choice is no longer limited by l ‘location in many areas.

“Our research shows that proactive companies are actively thinking about how best to reconfigure their workspaces to facilitate collaborative activities, meetings and training opportunities where they will remain crucial.

“Maintaining productivity and training employees are at the heart of the employer’s concerns in this new dynamic. Employee engagement will be critical – companies that fail to adapt and listen to the changing demands of their employees run the risk of losing talent to those who do. “

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