After the COVID-19 pandemic, the explosion in flexible working became the new norm for most businesses. With advancements in technology, individuals had access to virtual communication tools, enabling them to collaborate effectively with colleagues regardless of their physical location. Employers recognised the importance of maintaining a healthy equilibrium between professional and personal life. leading to improved mental well-being, increased productivity, and reduced burnout among employees.
However, companies like Apple, Google, and Meta are recalling employees to the office. Companies have understandably found maintaining a company culture among remote workers is difficult. This shift raises questions around flexible work arrangements.
Recent data from the Timewise Flexible Jobs Index for 2023 reveals a modest 1% growth, with only 31% of job ads explicitly mentioning flexibility.
As we look to 2024, it is evident that hybrid working model is changing. With 2023/2024 and its economic uncertainty the market is currently an employer-employee driven market and the desire to unite staff, build brands and culture pressure is gaining to bring back staff to offices within certain organisations.
However, from the 6th April 2024, the newly approved Employment Rights Bill (flexible Working) employees will have the right to request flexible working from "day one" of their employment. ACAS
This legislation will add complexity to flexible working for employees and employers. Its impact on staff retention, recruitment and a companies business model. Employers will still need to offer flexible working, and employees will continue to demand it.