Slack, the messaging app for business, has recently released new research revealing the need for hybrid work in today’s climate, including the cost-of-living crisis, and why businesses must operate in a digital-first way as a result. The study additionally reveals how both virtual and in-person office etiquette has changed with new workplace habits forming.
The survey of over 1,000 UK office workers highlighted that the majority (73%) believe hybrid work is here to stay and 53% think businesses should operate on a digital-first approach. Spending more time at home is a must for most with over 3 in 5 (66%) likely to start looking for a new job if hybrid or remote working is not offered. This is no surprise with 70% believing that hybrid work has helped them with the cost of living crisis, with less being spent on transport and lunches.
However, it’s not just location flexibility, but time too, with almost 9 in 10 (86%) noting they would prefer to work more hours in fewer days – mirroring the growing popularity of the four-day working week in the UK.
Technology Makes Hybrid Work a Success
To create a strong hybrid work environment the research found that technology plays a defining role. In fact, 84% claimed technology is enabling hybrid work, and has provided them with more location and time flexibility. As such, the importance of a digital HQ (headquarters) which connects teams, tools, customers and partners all on one platform, has been established. Almost three quarters (74%) said a digital HQ is fundamental to making hybrid work a success, while 73% agreed that digital HQs could give businesses a competitive advantage.
Chris Mills, Head of Customer Success, EMEA, at Slack, commented: “The way we work has changed, and we are never going back. That’s why all businesses should be introducing and prioritising a digital HQ.
“Auto Trader UK is a great example. To supplement its office redesign and truly work hybridly, Auto Trader UK is using Slack as its digital HQ to keep everyone connected and to improve its service reliability to ship quality code faster. Similarly, the Department for Education uses Slack in an innovative way to respond to service incidents. Companies that embrace a digital HQ and create an environment where culture can thrive for all employees are best placed to retain talent and thrive in 2022 and beyond.”
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Asynchronous Work Saves Time
In this new world of work, the research revealed asynchronous work—where communication doesn’t need to happen in real-time—is rising in popularity. The benefits of asynchronous work couldn’t be clearer, with many (69%) office workers claiming it gives them time to perfect ideas and responses before communicating, and 64% believing it maximises their productivity thanks to not having to wait for others to complete their tasks.
Asynchronous work is also saving office workers an average of 2 hours 53 minutes a week thanks to replacing real-time meetings.
Office Design and Etiquette Has Evolved
The shift towards hybrid work and a digital-first approach for many businesses means the design and role of the physical office has changed. In fact, 72% have made changes to their office design and set-up to suit hybrid work.
The survey additionally found work etiquette has changed with a number of virtual or hybrid meeting habits irritating workers. One of the top annoyances was colleagues not going on mute during meetings, especially when they have background noise (38%), while 33% said its co-workers eating on video. A number of faux pas have also been committed following workers starting to return to the office with half (50%) saying they’ve seen their friend or colleague eat foods with strong odours, and 47% experiencing their coworkers on loud personal or work phone calls. Workers themselves have even admitted they have not fully re-adjusted, with 34% speaking to themselves out loud while in the office and the same number forgetting how to make small talk.
Helping to transform business communications for a variety of teams, such as Auto Trader UK, the Department for Education, Man Group, HSBC, Vodafone, Starling Bank, and Deliveroo, Slack is leading a historic shift towards a digital-first world of work thanks to acting as a digital HQ which connects people, apps, and data on a single platform – helping to drive success from anywhere.