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Brits Prefer Hybrid Working Over Office or Remote, Study Reveals

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The world of work looks very different now compared to those pre-lockdown days. Worktime has a much more flexible feel to it, with many of us dividing our time between the office and home study, and a great deal of us working on a 100% remote basis altogether.

So, which is better? Is working from home detrimental to productivity and team cohesion? Is going to the office compromising the work-life balance? Is it best to have the best of both worlds?To contribute to the ongoing debate about the preferred way of working for the British nation after all the shifts, a new study has been conducted by computing accessories and tech retailer Currys among 1,000 UK desk workers.

38% of office workers prefer hybrid working

38% of office workers prefer a hybrid working arrangement. When it comes to location, it appears that most people prefer a combination of both options. 38% stated that they would prefer a hybrid working arrangement, which involves a balance between office time and remote working.

Fully remote work was the next most popular choice, with over a quarter of respondents opting for this type of working situation, while solely office-based work came in third, with one-fifth of respondents expressing a preference for working on-site 100% of the time. Surprisingly, working while travelling was the least popular option, with only 6% choosing this as their ideal working scenario.

People feel more productive when working from home

The survey also revealed that 36% of respondents said they feel more productive working from home than in the office; however, 63% feel there is more pressure to prove you are working more while working from home, likely due to the negative perceptions shown on social media.

However, the data shows that this perceived pressure may not be a myth, as 18% of respondents admitted that they believe remote workers are lazy. 

More than half of UK desk workers don’t feel productive in their workspace 

The study also found that over half (58%) of desk workers, which was a mixture of remote, hybrid and on-site workers, do not feel productive in their current workspace.  

The top reason for desk workers not feeling productive was too many distractions, with 27% claiming this as the reason for their lack of productivity. For just over a fifth (21%) it was surrounding noise and for 18% it was colleagues. The latter ties to what was chosen as the top distraction at work, as 23% picked talkative colleagues as the number one distraction, which would seem to be an issue exclusive to hybrid and office workers. 

Top 5 things distracting workers from their work

Rank

Distraction

% UK workers distracted by it

1

Talkative colleagues

23%

2

Internet issues

22%

3

Mobile phones (yours or others)

21%

4

Too many emails

20%

=5

Too many meetings

19%

=5

Social media

19%

The way to productivity

The usual working day consists of 7.5 to 8 hours, but are we truly working every minute? Even if we are, it’s challenging to maintain 100% concentration.

Researchers suggest that a maximum of 4 to 5 hours of deep focus per day is feasible for individuals. Some experts even argue that productivity is enhanced by taking 20 to 30-minute breaks every two to three hours.

When we’re tired, we become more prone to making mistakes as we lose focus, and our brain functions at a lower level. Science essentially supports common sense when it comes to productivity levels, and when surveyed, UK office workers had their own opinions on what contributes to a more productive work environment.

More than a third of office workers (31%) stated that a quiet workspace fosters the most productive environment, and almost a third (27%) consider having a tidy desk as a significant factor in enhancing productivity. 

Minimalism genuinely promotes focus, as there are fewer distractions in the immediate surroundings. The third crucial element that people consider important for productivity is having access to natural lighting, emphasized by a quarter of office workers.

Rank

Top elements office workers believe make a productive work environment

%

1

Quiet workspace

31%

2

A tidy desk

27%

3

Natural lighting

25%

4

Fresh air/ good colleagues/company

23%

5

Air conditioning/heating

18%

6

More than one screen/monitor

17%

7

A big desk

16%

8

Ergonomic chairs

14%

9

Music/radio, good view, separate lunch area

12%

10

Breakout area

11%

According to workers, the perfect working area is a mix of elements. It has to be perfect from a tech perspective (stable internet connection, two monitors), it has to be quiet and clean, and it also has to consider the worker’s health too.

Along with ergonomic chairs, workers point out that daylight, having good colleagues, and a special break-out area make a better working place.

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