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IoD: Directors look to hybrid working for the future

30 Apr 2021

An IoD survey of around 600 business leaders has shown that over 60% of organisations plan to adopt hybrid working even after restrictions ease.

The research finds that 63% of business leaders intend to shift towards one to four days of remote working per week. One in five are not planning to introduce any form of remote working, while just around one in ten are now looking to work from home entirely.

The Institute also found that business leaders were split on whether working from home was more or less productive. Around four in ten said remote working was more productive, while a slightly smaller 37% felt it was less productive for their work.

The mixed response suggests that the hybrid working model is likely to provide the optimum balance for business leaders as the economy reopens, although many employers are yet to determine how this will work in practice.

Joe Fitzsimons, Senior Policy Advisor commented:

“As the economy reopens, business leaders are grappling with the best working models going forward.

“The flexibility of remote working has improved work-life balance for employees and cut-down commuting expenses. In many cases it has also boosted inclusivity and hiring from different parts of the country.

“Despite the advantages, remote working has not been without its challenges. For business leaders, running a tight ship has not been easy without workforces in the same physical space. This is not helped by unreliable internet connections. Employee morale has also been affected with the loss of office camaraderie, and adjusting to new roles has been difficult for new staff.

“For organisations that require a lot of customer interaction, remote working is less suitable. However, many firms are also looking to cut-back on office sizes, amp up home working, and make more use of coworking spaces. With varied preferences and different business models, directors are working closely with employees to find the most productive working arrangement. 

“After a year of mixed experiences with remote working, it seems many business leaders are taking a hybrid stance into the future.”

Full Survey Results – 583 respondents*, conducted between 11th - 29th of March

*Excluding businesses that have always worked from home

Which of the following most closely describes your organisation's expected average use of the 'workplace' in the long-term?  'Workplace' can refer to offices, factories and workspaces other than home-working. 

No remote working


1 day per week remote working


2 days per week remote working


3 days per week remote working


4 days per week remote working


Fully remote working


Don’t know



On balance, do you find remote working more or less productive for your own work? 

Significantly more productive


Slightly more productive


No change


Slightly less productive


Significantlyless productive


Remote working is not suitable for my work


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