New research from TravelPerk reveals that a fifth (19%) of UK employees do not think meeting colleagues in person is important at all.

However, nearly triple (58%) feel that meeting in person is important because it creates a sense of belonging to the team, and more than double (43%) think it boosts productivity and creativity.

Even so, nearly a quarter (23%) would like to go into the office less, and only 3 percent would like to go into the office more.

“Technology will never replace the magic and energy that exists when people get together in person,” said Avi Meir, CEO, TravelPerk. “That’s why so many businesses are keen to encourage workers to return to the office and why many employees are embracing it – because the meetings that matter, happen in person.”

What about those travelling into the office?

The survey also showed that most employees (69%) are required to go into the office a certain number of days per week or month.

Of these, more than a quarter (28%) work five days a week from the office compared to those that work four days (9%), three days (22%), two days (24%) a week or less (16%).

Is hybrid working the answer?

Only a small minority felt that hybrid working encourages better communication with their team (8%) and a better relationship with their boss (7%). With that in mind, a third (33%) use their time in the office for 1-1 meetings with their manager or team, followed by meeting new team members (30%).

In-person meetings are also used for brainstorming or strategy sessions (22%), social events (20%), large meetings with multiple people (16%) and workshops or skill development sessions (13%).

“The need for in-person connections is deeply rooted in who we are as human beings, and this comes through very clearly in the survey. Those in-real-life connections enable meaningful interactions, business opportunities and team success stories, which are necessary for businesses to thrive. TravelPerk exists to make that happen,” Meir concluded.

The survey, which explores hybrid working patterns, is based on a sample of 1,000 UK employees working from an office or home. Nearly half (46%) of hybrid workers like it because they spend less time commuting and because of the balance it gives between their job and personal life (43%).

They are also more productive (34%), like the balance of time at home and interacting with colleagues at the office (29%), find it has a positive impact on their mental and physical health (27%), and are comfortable with their workstation setup (15%).

 

 

 

 

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.