UK workforce wants ‘hybrid-working’,
not the end of the office

However, employees think their desire for hybrid-working is
out of step with that of their employer

London, UK, 30th June 2020: The majority (77%) of UK employees say a mix of office-based and remote working is the best way forward post COVID-19, according to new research by the Adecco Group UK and Ireland, part of the world’s leading HR solutions company. 

The global ‘Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work’ study, which surveyed 1,000 UK employees alongside workers in eight other countries to understand their desires and expectations for the world of work post COVID-19, found that 79% think it’s important that their company implements more flexibility in how and where staff can work.

However, UK employees worry that their employer’s expectations of what hybrid-working should look like after the pandemic will not match their own. They think their company will expect them to work from their office more than two thirds (66%) of the time, when employees would actually rather have an even split – working from their home and office 49% and 48% of the time respectively.

Alongside prompting the workforce to question where they want to work going forward, the pandemic has also given rise to a strong sense that the traditional 9-5 needs to be reconsidered. The study found that 68% of UK employees think that set hour contracts are no longer relevant to modern ways of working, and the same number (68%) believe their employer should revisit the length of the working week and the hours their staff are expected to work. Ultimately, 74% think employee contracts should focus more on meeting the needs of the role and less on the numbers of hours worked.

Given this desire for a focus on performance instead of time, it’s unsurprising that employees see placing trust in staff to get the job done as the most important (85%) requirement from management. This is considered more crucial than management supporting their flexible/remote working needs (79%).

Alex Fleming, President and Country Head of the Adecco Group UK&I commented on the findings, “As lockdown restrictions continue to lift across the UK, businesses will gradually have to start shifting their focus from purely surviving, to planning how they can thrive in the new era of work. In order to get ahead of the curve, new working norms will need to be established, that are informed by the learnings of organisations from the pandemic experience.

“This is a unique opportunity for business leaders to hit reset on existing working patterns, and consider what, for instance, the new model of flexible working should look like. Crucially, these considerations should take into account what employee’s expectations are on these issues. Those businesses who welcome the new challenges and opportunities, will be able to create working practices that will benefit both them and their employees for the long term which will undoubtedly enhance colleague loyalty.”

About the research:

A total of 8,000 office-based workers (1,000 per country) across the UK, USA, Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain and France, were surveyed for ‘Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work’ study. Respondents were aged between 18-60 years, and fieldwork was conducted in May 2020 in local languages.


The Adecco Group 

The Adecco Group UK and Ireland and its brands are part of the Adecco Group, the world’s leading HR solutions company. We believe in making the future work for everyone, and every day enable more than 3.5 million careers.

We skill, develop, and hire talent in 60 countries, enabling organisations to embrace the future of work. As a Fortune Global 500 company, we lead by example, creating shared value that fuels economies and builds better societies.

Our culture of inclusivity, entrepreneurship and teamwork empowers our 34,000 employees, who voted us number 11 on the Great Place to Work® – World’s Best Workplaces 2019 list.  

The Adecco Group AG is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN) and powered by nine global lead brands: Adecco, Adia, Badenoch + Clark, General Assembly, Lee Hecht Harrison, Modis, Pontoon, Spring Professional and Vettery.

The Adecco Group UK and Ireland head office is located in London, UK. We have nine brands, including the Adecco Group UK and Ireland, Adecco, Ajilon, Badenoch + Clark, Modis, Office Angels, Penna, Pontoon and Spring. 


The Adecco Group