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Relationship building is the biggest challenge for UK hybrid workers

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Half of UK employees would choose great relationships with colleagues over a pay rise

Despite the cost-of-living crisis, 50% of employees would choose great working relationships over a 10% pay increase, and 35% said relationship building is the main problem for hybrid workers.  This is according to HubSpot’s 2023 Hybrid Work Report.

The UK hybrid working respondents were asked about their main reason for office visits. Fifty-one percent agreed that it was to connect with colleagues. A further 37% said they use the office to communicate more efficiently with colleagues.

The report revealed feelings and patterns towards hybrid working and revealed that 47% of UK workers would opt for a four-day workweek over a salary increase. Flexibility was also found to be a priority. When asked what they would choose to boost their productivity, 70% of employees picked flexible start and finish times.

The report’s findings indicate that employers should consider improving benefits packages to recruit and retain top talent. The report showed that UK workers who work from home would feel more motivated to visit the office if commuter benefits (58%) and catered meals (56%) were part of their packages.

Other big challenges were revealed, such as the management of remote employees (26%) and a lack of alignment between in-office and remote employees (21%).

Shockingly, 31% of employees said that they do not regularly feel engaged at work, and 44% consider themselves to be quitting quietly. Twenty-three percent feel they will be quiet quitting soon.

Regarding parental support, the report also revealed that the UK and Ireland are the least likely to make parents’ lives easier. For example, only 14% (UK) and 13% (Ireland) of parents receive childcare subsidies, compared to 37% in the US, 34% in Colombia, and 23% in Germany.

Concerning the number of days spent working at home, the UK is higher than the global average, with 18% of hybrid workers only visiting an office once a week and 34% spending two days in the office.

It was also clear from the data that employees want investment that fosters a strong culture, including engagement and team-building events (45%), communication and collaboration tools (36%), diversity, inclusion, and belonging (31%), and sustainability (26%)

Flavia Colombo, General Manager UK&I, at HubSpot said: “People clearly care about getting on with others in the workplace, but that doesn’t mean employers should scale back on flexibility or force people back to the office. Companies need to help employees find meaningful ways to connect both in-person and online by providing tools and support that work on a personal level. If failing to do so we will see a bigger impact on employees’ engagement, belonging and loyalty to their organisation and it will lead to higher attrition rates.

“It’s an employee’s market and people no longer accept the bare minimum in culture and benefits. Employers must distinguish what will nurture the sense of being cared for by an employer – whether that’s benefits, working hours or the right collaboration tools to boost morale and thus a sense of connection and purpose to the business.”

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