Post-Covid trends

Work from home falls as hybrid model takes hold

home working
Home working suits a lot of workers, particularly those with children

Working from home is in decline with the number of Scots now operating remotely dropping to its lowest as the economy recovers from the Covid pandemic.

In the first fortnight of October, just 5% of workers were exclusively working from home, according to a survey of more than 1,000 Scottish businesses.

That compares to 15.7% at the turn of the year, and represents a gradual reduction in those only logging in from home.

The Office for National Statistics’ Business Insights and Conditions Survey reveals that 28.4% of large businesses were now adopting a “hybrid model of working” – where staff split their working week between home and the office. This is nearly double the rate at the beginning of 2022.

Public speaking and hybrid working specialist Gavin Brown, who runs Edinburgh-based Speak With Impact, said the figures signalled a further change in post-Covid working patterns.

The former MSP said businesses across the country could capitalise on hybrid working, especially when it comes to maximising opportunities overseas.

Among the Scottish sectors most likely to adopt hybrid working are information and communication (50.6%), and professional, scientific and technical activities (49.8%).

The statistics showed that between 3 and 16 October 28.4% of those working for businesses with more than 250 employees were hybrid working, compared to 16.3% of small and medium-sized firm.

The BICS began monitoring hybrid and home working results from Scotland in November 2021.

Mr Brown said: “It’s clear we’re now settling into a phase post-pandemic where people and businesses are looking to split their time between home and the office.

“We went from a position during Covid, almost overnight, from hardly anyone working from home to huge numbers doing so.

“Now some of the practicalities – economically and socially – of home-working are becoming a little clearer, and it’s far more common for staff to do a bit of both.

“That hybrid approach will bring huge opportunities for Scottish businesses who now have a chance to excel in this new world and expand their horizons digitally while continuing to enjoy the benefits of in-person conferences and meetings.

“If Scotland gets this right by investing in hybrid technology and gaining the skills to capitalise on it, there will be considerable potential for growth and prosperity.”

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