Sunday, May 22, 2022

East Midlands’ mid-market struggling to implement hybrid working

New research from Grant Thornton UK LLP’s latest Business Outlook Tracker has revealed that, prior to the implementation of ‘Plan B’ and the return of work from home guidance, hybrid working was being adopted by many mid-market firms in the East Midlands, but some businesses were still facing challenges with its implementation.

The survey of mid-sized businesses found that a hybrid working approach, where people split their time between working remotely and in an office, was the most common working practice in early December with 92% of the region’s businesses working this way.

Despite more than nine out of ten businesses operating in this manner, 15% said that they were not yet finding it to be effective. The research identified that the main working style challenges for those respondents adopting a hybrid working approach are:

  • Managing the work of more junior staff (46%)
  • Loss of culture (46%)
  • Mental wellbeing (37%)
  • The provision of training remotely (37%)
  • Having efficient technology (37%)

Hybrid and remote working, as well as the issues it can create, are likely to remain the norm for many businesses even after Boris Johnson scrapped the government’s work from home guidance earlier this week.

Sue Knight, partner and practice leader at Grant Thornton UK LLP in the Midlands, said: “Since the pandemic started, many of us have seen a significant shift in our working patterns, with remote and hybrid working becoming the de facto norm. This has been especially evident in the East Midlands, with more than 90% of the region’s businesses adopting this approach.

“There have been a lot of benefits that have come with this change for both companies and their employees, such as saving costs on reduced office space and achieving a better work-life balance. However, this transition has not been easy and there have been a number of challenges to overcome – challenges that many are still trying to find the answer to.

“Making hybrid working effective takes time and commitment and right now every business is on the same learning curve, trying to find out how to make their people continue to feel connected and supported, wherever they are working. As we move into the New Year, businesses need to stay agile and open to evolving in order to ensure that hybrid working operates as effectively as possible for them, which could take the form of investing in new technology or finding new ways to train, organise and co-ordinate teams.”

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