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UK businesses are facing imminent remote working crunch point

1000’s of business leaders are planning to shift to remote or hybrid work in the next year according to Omnipresent’s survey conducted in partnership with YouGov – yet only 36% plan to consult their internal HR teams in the process. This links to a new report – The Globalisation of Teams – written in collaboration with former BBC journalist and economics expert Laurence H Knight. The report discusses global teams representing the next big globalisation and its profound impact on the global economy and society.

Businesses face a crunch point in the next 12 months as the shift to remote and hybrid teams continues to gather pace, according to global employment partner Omnipresent. Conducted in partnership with YouGov, the survey revealed that 89% of UK businesses surveyed who are planning to adopt a remote or hybrid model will do so within the next 12 months. Omnipresent estimates this equates to nearly 400,000 businesses across the country*.

However when questioned about the execution and delivery of new working models, the research revealed some worrying trends:

  • Only 36% of responding leaders plan to consult internal HR teams when adopting a new working model, but 56% plan to consult board members and the leadership team.
  • Despite this, the expectation to deliver remote solutions lies exclusively with HR teams for 44% of senior leaders, with only 13%  seeking support from specialised subject matter experts.
  • Only 4%  and 6% of respondents respectively are concerned about compliance issues and providing local benefits, therefore opening themselves up to serious risk of fines and employee dissatisfaction.

When questioned why they plan to adopt a hybrid or remote model:

  • 49% of responding executives who currently have or plan to adopt a remote work model said talent priorities are driving their organisations to adopt a fully remote working model. 25% cited ‘accessing a more specialised talent pool’ and 37% identified ‘retaining talent’ as one of the top reasons.
  • Employee wellbeing is also front of mind for responding executives and organisations: 49% cite this as a top reason for embracing a new working model.

The research comes alongside the launch of The Globalization of Teams, a report written in collaboration with former BBC journalist and economics expert Laurence H Knight. The report  hypothesises that global teams represent the next big globalisation, following the rise of the internet in the 1990s and the growth of global capital markets in the 1970s.

This phenomenon will have a profound impact on the global economy and society:

  • It will result in an increased rate of innovation and economic growth through greater cross-cultural knowledge sharing.
  • It will impact the make-up of megacities with a reshuffling of people out of expensive metropoles and into more affordable villages, towns and cities.
  • It will drive the adoption of a new, open, inclusive global team culture and an equalisation of salaries.

Co-CEO and Co-founder of Omnipresent, Matthew Wilson, says, ‘We’ve seen how the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated remote work trends. Seemingly every week now, a different company announces its intention to offer its employees the opportunity to work fully remotely or as a hybrid team, from Airbnb to Spotify and many in between.

Ambitious companies are realising that if they hire remotely, they can hire globally too and bring on the smartest people anywhere on the globe. We’re now on the cusp of a revolution that will change our world like never before – but leaders must be attuned to the complexities of global hiring, or risk reputational damage.’

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