A weighty 91% of companies still have employees currently hybrid working, according to the latest research from Towergate Health & Protection.

The research reveals that only 9% of employers currently have no hybrid workers. On average 39% of the workforce are hybrid working and 27% of employers have more than half their workforce hybrid working.

Delving into more detail, the research goes on to show that 30% of employees work from home for at least three days a week. Employers stated that 31- 40-year-olds are the age group most likely to want to work from home, and over 60s and under 25s are least likely to want to work from home.

Debra Clark, head of wellbeing for Towergate Health & Protection comments: “With so many people still working from home for at least some of the week, health and wellbeing support needs to be adaptable to all scenarios. Employers should look to offer as wide a range of support as possible and make it easily accessible from the workplace, and remotely, and we’re seeing more employers using employee benefit platforms to help with this.”

It would appear, however, that employers are keen for their employees to return to the office, with 98% having implemented a measure to persuade their employees back to the workplace.

Which, if any, of the following have you tried to encourage employees to return to the office?

Organised more on-site socials                               41%

Made free drink and/or meals available               40%

Organised on-site wellbeing days                           38%

Made access to in-person counselling available  38%

Offered access to a gym                                             38%

Made some office days mandatory                          37%

Subsided transport/commuting costs                    34%

None of these                                                               2%

The vast majority of the actions taken by employers have been to ‘encourage’ employees back to the office but a still significant 37% of employers have made some office days mandatory.

Different employees thrive in different settings and what is best for one person may not be best for another. There are advantages and disadvantages of hybrid working and decisions will need to be based on what is best for the employee, weighed up with what is best for the business. Each business will have different needs for office-based and remote working and there are gains to be made from both.

Debra Clark says: “Many employers are still offering some level of flexibility over work locations and the drive for a return to the office has mostly been on a voluntary basis. The important thing is ensuring that the employer is still able to engage with their employees, regardless of the work setting. Employee benefits and support will need to remain flexible and adaptable to both scenarios.”

The support and benefits implemented to encourage employees back to the workplace have a further advantage of helping to support the four pillars of health and wellbeing. Access to gyms, in-person counselling, on-site socials, and subsidised transport costs mean that the physical, mental, social and financial aspects of health and wellbeing are all being catered for. What is vital, however, is that employers ensure these needs are met for home or hybrid workers too.