Despite hybrid working becoming the ‘norm,’ just 6 percent of employers plan to have their workforce work from home full-time, according to research commissioned by Irwin Mitchel Solicitors.

According to the YouGov survey, 40 percent of businessess (and 54% of large businesses) said that they see the office as a collaborative space for exchanging ideas.

Also, 40 percent of all businesses said they feel their staff work better in an office.

Whilst the purpose of the office may have shifted, the value of having workspace is still very much felt.

Employment Partner at Irwin Mitchell, Sybille Steiner, says: “This report reveals a fascinating insight into how employment trends are impacting how businesses view their office space. Attracting and retaining staff remains key and changing or improving the office environment to meet new demands and keep employees happy could be a relatively easy win compared to replacing valued talent.”

“Larger companies in particular are seeing how their space can best accommodate new methods of hybrid working as well as providing a place to collaborate, inspire, motivate, train and mentor staff,” she adds.


The office embodies organisational culture

The survey revealed that 37 percent of larger companies view the office as an important place to nurture employees in a way that embodies their organisational culture.

Mentoring younger staff was shown to be a priority for employers, with 62 percent of large businesses (and 56% of medium businesses) stating that the office provides the means to do so.

Other benefits employers saw of having office space included quality space (48%), WIFI and technology benefits (44%), and being in an environmentally friendly building (37%).


Retainment of staff

According to the survey, 43 percent of businesses, and 62 percent of large businesses, say that recruiting and retaining staff is one of the biggest threats their organisation currently faces.

Considering the employee’s opinions, as well as factoring in what working style is conducive to the company’s culture is vital to ensure success as we transition further out of the pandemic into the new job market.

The Great Resignation has shown companies the importance of responding to changing preferences.

Whether employees work from home full-time, in the office full-time, or work to a hybrid model will have large implications on a company’s culture. Models of working should therefore play a central role within staff retainment strategies.







Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.