Research has found that up to 3.8 million parents, disabled people and carers who were previously ‘locked out’ of certain roles could re-join the workforce as a result of organisations implementing hybrid working solutions for their employees due to the pandemic.
The report found that almost half of those currently out of work could move back into employment on a remote basis, adding a potential £48 billion to the UK economy each year. Additionally, investment in new technologies to support hybrid working could add a further £76 billion to the UK economy by 2025.
In the same study, 69% of managers said that changes to flexible working made as a result of the pandemic were likely to become permanent.
More than half of employees have said their work-life balance has improved due to increased working from home, with many saying they feel closer to their families. But hybrid working brings its own set of mental health challenges, with many saying they feel increasingly isolated working from home, and many working additional hours without clocking overtime.
Employers will need to make further investments and put actions in place to meet these challenges, and would also need to ensure that workers are adequately equipped to work from home, and that home workspaces are appropriate and conducive to productive working. However, if employers are able to step up and meet the changing needs of a post-pandemic workforce, we could see a positive shift in work accessibility and work-related mental health in the months to come.