Is the appetite for hybrid working and working at home coming to an end?

Elizabeth Russell
Head of Relocation Services – Midlands

Customers yearning the familiar hum of the office


Relocation experts, Restore Harrow Green, are definitely seeing a trend with their customers to support that hybrid working may not be a mainstay for a lot of businesses.


For the past couple of years, hybrid working arrangements seemed like the silver lining of the pandemic cloud. Employees relished the flexibility to work from home while enjoying a better work-life balance. However, as the world gradually adapts to the “new normal,” it appears that the allure of hybrid working is starting to wane. Increasingly, people are yearning for the familiar hum of the office, and the question arises: Is hybrid working losing its appeal?

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, businesses were forced to re-evaluate their traditional office-centric work culture. The immediate response was to implement remote working policies, allowing employees to carry out their duties from the safety of their homes. Many found this transition to be a revelation, as it eliminated lengthy commutes and granted more autonomy over their daily schedules.


Hybrid working soon emerged as a compromise, combining the flexibility of remote work with the in-person collaboration of office life. Employees could choose to work from home part of the time, allowing them to maintain the newfound work-life balance while still having access to face-to-face interactions and the office environment.


The Appeal of the Office:


While hybrid working initially appeared to be the ideal solution, an interesting shift is now taking place. A growing number of employees are expressing a desire to return to the office full-time, citing various reasons for this change of heart.


Social Interaction:
One of the most significant attractions of the office is the social interaction it offers. Human beings are inherently social creatures, and the pandemic has underscored the importance of face-to-face connections. The camaraderie, impromptu conversations, and team-building opportunities that the office provides are difficult to replicate virtually.


Collaboration and Creativity:
In-person collaboration fosters creativity and innovation. Being physically present allows for spontaneous brainstorming sessions, the exchange of ideas, and the encounters that can lead to breakthroughs in problem-solving and innovation.


Work-Life Separation:
For some, working from home blurred the boundaries between work and personal life, leading to burnout and reduced productivity. The office provides a clear separation, allowing employees to leave work behind when they clock out.


Career Advancement: Office settings often provide more visibility and opportunities for career advancement. Being physically present can make it easier to network, seek mentorship, and showcase one’s skills and dedication to the organization.


Office Amenities:
Modern offices often come equipped with amenities such as gyms, cafeterias, and comfortable workspaces. These perks can enhance the overall work experience and contribute to a sense of belonging.


The Challenge for Employers:


As employees increasingly express their desire to work in the office, employers are faced with the challenge of adapting their flexible working policies. Striking the right balance between in-person and remote work is crucial for retaining talent and ensuring a happy, productive workforce.


Restore Harrow Green, Head of Relocations, Midlands, Liz Russell is definitely seeing this trend with her customers.

“As the pandemic started to ease, businesses were quick to keep working from home a part of future plans. Many downsized in space, introducing more flexible working spaces for their teams. But over the past few months, we have seen an uplift in moves to bigger office spaces, with our customers citing that people have become bored of working from home and want the benefits that more frequent collaboration brings. They are now having to re-evaluate how the future of office working looks for them and their teams.”

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