NEW NORMAL - Hybrid working is here to stay, say managers
Working from home for part of the week has become the norm for some employees, a survey of managers has suggested.
More than 80% said their firms had adopted hybrid working - most since the pandemic, a survey for the Chartered Institute of Management (CMI) found.
But senior leaders are also actively encouraging employees to return to the workplace, a majority of managers said.
The institute said firms should embrace hybrid work as "best practice".
"It would be very short sighted of bosses not to see some correlation in the shift in the working world, and the move towards hybrid [working]," said CMI chief executive Ann Francke.
"We are experiencing an uptick in productivity, and an uptick in many companies results. We're not saying everyone should work from home 100% of the time, we're saying the best practice is to have a blend, so when you come into the office you can do those things that are very difficult to do remotely."
The survey for the professional body, exclusively shared with the BBC, found that 84% of managers said their firms had adopted hybrid working and two-thirds said this had been prompted by the Covid pandemic.
Large companies were more likely than small ones to have brought in hybrid working practices, while jobs in factories, transport and trades were less likely to offer the option.
The survey found that firms offered staff flexibility to choose which days they came into the office.
Work from home guidance in England, which was put in place in December to try to curb the spread of the Omicron variant, was lifted in January.
Similar guidance was relaxed in Scotland, but remains in place in Northern Ireland and Wales.
As Covid restrictions have eased, commuter numbers have risen.
But more than a fifth of train services that were running before the Covid pandemic have not returned.
The survey polled 1,237 managers, with 41% working in the private sector, and 59% the public and non-profit sectors.
Aoife Fitzmaurice, chief of staff at Sage, which provides accounting, payroll and payment systems, plans to keep hybrid working in place.
While there was "huge demand" from employees to have the option to work from home, Ms Fitzmaurice said they were also "missing the human connection".
Ms Fitzmaurice explained that a "framework of flexibility" was necessary so that agreements could be made by each team to set the "sweet spot" of a combination of home and office work.
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