70% of UK office workers see hybrid work as a way to ease cost of living

As the UK inflation rate continues to soar, UK office workers signal their overwhelming support for hybrid and remote work as a means of saving money.

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New research from enterprise communication company Slack has found that two thirds of UK office workers would consider changing jobs if their employer didn’t provide a hybrid or remote working option, as the cost of living crisis bites households.

With inflation at 9.4% and average household disposable income dropping by 18% as of June 2022, 53% of the 1,003 UK office workers surveyed by Slack said they want to see their employers implement a digital-first approach to work, as 70% believe that hybrid work has helped them with the cost of living crisis. Limiting time spent in the office helps employees save money on commuting costs and buying lunch.

An overwhelming percentage of respondents also said they would support moves by businesses to improve time flexibility in addition to location flexibility, with 86% saying they would prefer to work more hours over fewer days. In June 2022, a pilot project in the UK saw 3,300 workers across 70 companies move to a four-day work week, whilst keeping their full salary.

Technology powers a shift towards asynchronous work

Respondents also stressed the importance of technology when it comes to facilitating hybrid and remote work models, with 84% saying that technology has been vital in providing them with more location and time flexibility.

Support for asynchronous work, a practice where communication happens at a time convenient for individuals rather than in-real time, was also high amongst respondents. The report found that 69% of office workers believed this way of working gave them time to perfect ideas and responses before communicating them, with 64% saying it maximised their productivity, as they didn’t have to wait for others to complete tasks.

According to Slack’s research, replacing real-time meetings with asynchronous communication saves office workers an average of 2 hours and 53 minutes a week.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Mills, head of customer success for EMEA at Slack, said that the world of work has changed, and employees are clearly signalling they don’t want things to return to pre-pandemic ways of working. Companies that can “create an environment where culture can thrive for all employees are best placed to retain talent and thrive in 2022 and beyond,” he said.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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