Paul Turrell – 18 January 2023

The pandemic has led to a seismic shift in the way employers are considering future ways of working. Hybrid working has become the norm, adding a new dimension of consideration for those seeking a new role. Working culture now plays a key part in deciding whether individuals accept or even apply for a new position.

Gone are the days of the office 9-5. It seems companies are treading their own paths and the decisions made vary considerably. We have seen examples across the industry of some employers returning to the office full time but others closing offices and moving to permanent home working. The majority are in between this range, offering hybrid working with a mix of office and home working. We’ve also seen some employers offering incentives for those that do go into the office, including free lunches.

There has been much time spent by management, discussing what to do and considering what others are doing. A number of employers have also reached out to employees at varying points to ask what their preference is. Many have set first policies, gauging reactions as they go, but a number of organisations are still unclear on what the long-term answer is. Some form of hybrid working has been welcomed by most employees, especially those that having been working within organisations for a long time.

Providing flexibility enables employees to mould work around their personal life like never before and provides the obvious opportunity for physical and mental health benefits – something which has previously been overlooked.

A recent LinkedIn poll (with over 100,000 respondents) fell heavily in favour of being able to choose when you go into the office. Whilst this might suit many, will this benefit those new to the industry or those looking to broaden their skillset? If pushed, it seems people would lean towards remote working rather than office based as their preference.

Those that are new into the role and/or younger will not be so established within organisations and enabling those people to learn in a face-to-face environment has a number of benefits such as being able to discuss, collaborate and practice in a live environment. There is also the social aspect and building relationships with your new team. Also, will it really be easy to integrate into a company’s culture and values remotely?

It is time for employers to address these points. Hybrid working seems here to stay and employers will need to find mutually beneficial ways of working in order to develop and retain their talent.

Those starting out or seeking new employment should consider whether they will be able to fulfil their career aspirations at the speed they want to, if they are likely to be at home most of the time. Seeking clarity from employers at the outset will be key to managing expectations.

RingCentral’s research also reveals that younger individuals are disproportionately more likely to feel isolated as a result of working from home, with 3 in 5 (63%) of 21-24 year olds feeling this way compared to a third (34%) of 45-54 year olds. Management should therefore consider providing this demographic with more opportunities to work from the office or schedule additional video conferences to make sure they are feeling connected. According to research at, engaged employees are over 20% more productive than non-engaged ones so it is critical for businesses to find a way to keep them engaged.

An employer and its management have the responsibility to demonstrate leadership, lead by example and build cultures that transcend the virtual/physical divide. They need to ensure that workers feel bonded to each other and the company, communication lines are effective and that creative meetings can happen virtually. Their overall stance on hybrid working, onboarding and embedding their culture could become the most important factors for an individual to consider when making decisions on the next steps in their career.

Laptop and notebook with pen on a wooden table. Woman typing at laptop.