Something for the weekend: Almost three-fifths (57%) of UK hybrid workers have planned to extend their overseas trips this summer in order to ditch the office and work from more idyllic locations, according to research by flexible workspace operator IWG.
The research, which canvassed 1,009 hybrid office workers in August, found that 88% were planning to take advantage of the chance to work from anywhere, either in the UK or abroad.
While some businesses might worry about their employees favouring mimosas over meetings, 67% of staff felt they could perform effectively from abroad. Employers might have to embrace the new normal, as 71% of staff said they would only consider a new job that gave them the flexibility to work anywhere for at least part of the year.
In addition to topping up the tan this summer, hybrid workers cited improved work-life balance (76%), spending more time with friends and family (52%), saving money by travelling off-peak (47%) and longer holidays (30%) as the main benefits of being able to work from anywhere.
Unsurprisingly, many of the most popular locations for hybrid overseas workers were synonymous with summer sun, with Spain, Italy, France and Greece making the top five.
Following this trend, a number of employers have implemented work-from-anywhere policies over the past year. Creative agency Waste Creative allows staff to do so for up to four weeks per year, and short-term rental platform AirBnB implemented a policy allowing staff to decide whether they are most effective working remotely, and from September will allow employees to work from abroad for 90 days per year.
Truly getting ahead of the curve, energy retailer Love Energy Savings has pre-emptively assured its staff that if and when it becomes possible, they will be allowed to work from space, as part of its policy enabling employees to set their own hours and work from anywhere.
Mark Dixon, founder and chief executive officer of IWG, said: “For an increasing number of workers, the days of the daily commute are over, now that hybrid working offers the opportunity to work wherever we will be the most productive. And thanks to cloud technology, that can be anywhere in the world, provided there’s a high-quality internet connection available.
“So, it’s no wonder that more and more individuals are embracing the idea of combining work with travel, whether it’s for a few days tacked on to the end of a vacation, or a few months as a digital nomad.
“This trend is set to accelerate further, and we will continue to see more and more companies embracing WFA policies to improve employees’ work-life balance and increase their attractiveness as an employer.”
Here at Employee Benefits, we would certainly relish the chance to slip on a sunhat for our weekly Teams get togethers, or take a quick dip during our coffee breaks. Whether the Pacific Ocean or the Sea of Tranquility, we’ll sea you there!