UK employers fail to support hybrid working needs

A survey of UK employers and employees has given insight into the lack of provision for remote and hybrid office workers to carry out their roles. While only just over half (56%) of employers admit they regularly check in with all employees to enquire about their health and well-being and 55 per cent provide laptops, 73 per cent of employees are ready to choose their next employer based on physical, health, and wellbeing support and flexible technology provision.

The Future of Work survey by Ergotron, a company designing and manufacturing ergonomic solutions to improve workspaces and interaction with technology, revealed that despite 88 per cent of employers seeing the importance of bringing IT devices when working in different rooms, almost a quarter (23%) of employers disagreed that the provision of the right ergonomic work conditions and support in employees' health and overall well-being would be a strong asset in talent acquisition. This rose to 43 per cent in organisations with 250-500 employees and a staggering 64 per cent of HR industry respondents. However, the finance and tech sectors most appreciate the significance of these factors, with 80 per cent of those in IT/telecoms and 75 per cent of those in finance agreeing on the importance.

However, employers appear to have the ambition to make a success of remote working, appreciating the importance of an agile working environment. 73 per cent think it's important for workers to be able to switch between sitting and standing to support their physical needs while at work (87% of businesses with 250-500 employees) and over half (52%) of workers consider it important. Due to the need to collaborate with remote teams, and to work from home, the office, or other locations, flexibility of technology, and portability of devices, have become critical too. 77 per cent of employees and 88 per cent of employers agreed on the importance of being able to bring their IT devices with them when working in different rooms. Yet only 55 per cent of employers claim they are supplying a laptop to workers for home, office, or third space.

Results of the survey showed a clear disparity in terms of equipment employees deem essential and what employers provide. Despite 89 per cent of workers and 89 per cent of employers citing a laptop as important, only 65 per cent of all employees claim to have been provided one and 55 per cent of employers admit to providing one. 75 per cent of workers and 81 per cent of employers concurred on the importance of an ergonomic chair, yet again, only 19 per cent of workers claimed employers had supplied them with one.

With an increasing amount of technology applications required for typical work roles, 65 per cent of employers said it's important to have a large screen monitor (between 30 - 49 inches) but less than a third (28%) of employees have been supplied one and 30 per cent of employers admitted they had provided one. 15 per cent of workers claimed employers had not provided any equipment at all - including a laptop, ergonomic chair, large monitor, or a subsidy for equipment. While 30 per cent of employers claim to offer a subsidy to workers to buy their own equipment, only 17 per cent of employees claim they have been offered this.

Richard Guy, Country Sales Manager UK & Ireland at Ergotron said, “We’re now in the third year of a new workstyle for most organisations, and business leaders should by now have assessed their workspaces and at least be in planning to deliver for workers’ needs - their organisation’s biggest asset. The importance of the need for adaptable workstyles has grown hugely to build safe, healthy, productive, and collaborative working environments – and workers’ needs sit well above what their employers are currently providing. Most alarming is the lack of attention to workers’ comfort and wellbeing while at work. In addressing this and other dedicated resources for a remote or hybrid workstyle, employers will provide supportive working environments which attract and retain staff, which is the making of a business. Given the business need for digital agility, deferring remote working provision will hold organisations back regardless of size or sector.”

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