CEOs worried that hybrid working will impact productivity and hurt career progression

Hybrid workingAs increasing numbers of companies offer post-pandemic hybrid working for employees, the challenges it poses to maintaining culture, morale, effective training and staff loyalty have been disclosed in a new survey of senior executives.

The findings come in a survey of 504 CEOs or Board members at major UK companies, each with more than 250 employees and annual revenues ranging from £50 million to more than £500 million and in diverse sectors of the economy.

It was commissioned by Definition Group.

Many respondents could see the positives in hybrid working, with 33% agreeing that it offers a better work-life balance for staff, leading to increased productivity and 29% seeing financial savings through reduced real estate costs as a benefit.

However, these were countered by concerns about the adverse impact on productivity by a disengaged workforce (29%), greater challenges around training and career progression (29%) and a potential to create a two-tier workforce with negative impact on morale (26%).

Additionally, 25% of respondents envisaged hybrid working resulting in a less loyal workforce posing greater retention challenges and 23% foresaw negative impact on creative thinking and problem solving.

Peter Davenport, Senior Strategic Consultant at Definition Group, comments: “We are at a watershed moment in business life. The benefits of a strong workplace culture are widely acknowledged but how to maintain that in the ‘new world of work’ in the long term is uncertain. Balancing corporate requirements and employee preference will be a major challenge.”