A New WFH Job Landscape: What Are the 2021 Trends in Flexible Working Patterns?

Many employers are considering a shift from WFH opportunities after the pandemic to encourage employees to come into the office. However, certain statistics show that employees still prioritise flexible working patterns. In this article, we take a look at some of the factors affecting the decision to move to a hybrid work environment.

If you could permanently work from home, would you? What about going to the office three days a week?

These are questions plaguing many employees globally as we shift to a post-pandemic world. As many businesses were forced to go fully remote or shutter entirely in March 2020, many people had to rapidly get used to updating their work environments to adapt to their life. As global vaccine rollouts increase, however, companies and enterprises are having to think about their plans for a collective return to the office. What does this mean for employees? While many may be looking forward to a return to some form of ‘normalcy’ (read: end of Zoom fatigue), statistics are showing that employees want to prioritise flexible working patterns even after the pandemic wanes.

CIPD released a series of data showing that, even after the pandemic, 63% of employers planned to introduce or expand the use of hybrid working and WFH opportunities to some degree, combining time in the workplace with time at home, depending on the needs of the job, the individual and the team, and the team working practices. Meanwhile, Personnel Today suggested that working parents were in favour of flexible working patterns (including expanded parental leave) but feared that their employers ‘were likely to be unresponsive to demands for greater flexibility once the pandemic dissipates’.

In a perhaps more surprising statistic, professional network Blind conducted a survey on employees from high-profile companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and more, asking them if they would prefer a permanent WFH (or flexible) job or a $30,000 raise. 64% of employees chose the first option, with only 2 companies largely choosing the higher salary.

Flexible working has many benefits, with the commute a possible paragon of the past. When it comes to returning to work, employees everywhere are pushing for a change in the adoption of new rules; HR blog People Management suggests that businesses who openly advertise flexible working opportunities have could ‘attract up to 30 per cent more applicants’ than those who didn’t. The blog states that women are more likely to benefit from flexible working practices, noting that flexible working job advertisements are more likely to attract women and that companies directly advertising flexible working patterns could be a factor in increasing workplace equality.

Cyferd recognises these trends as key factors when adopting our own flexible working approach. Cyferd is uniquely equipped to handle various WFH policies, as we have employees all over the globe and within different time zones. We allow our employees to build their own schedules, accommodating different locations, environments, and lifestyles in the process. While we will have permanent office locations in major metropolises globally, our post-pandemic approach remains flexible to allow our workers the choice to return or continue working from home.

Cyferd’s approach reflects a growing trend within the technology sector specifically to improve flexible working patterns for employees. An article from CIO suggests that the number of software developers in the workforce will total 27.7 million by 2023. CIO also notes that ‘around 80% of technically skilled professionals prefer to telecommute, while 83% said they want to see the workplace of the future blend the traditional office and the home’, a prediction that will influence the future of software and technology sectors as hybrid models of working become more of a desired norm.  

Flexible working is a key factor in many employees’ decisions to return to the office; as restrictions begin to lift in the UK and many companies shift to hybrid models of work, time will reveal further trends in WFH practices. Regardless, Cyferd remains committed to providing adaptable, responsive measures regarding flexible working.

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