Grant Thornton: Scottish mid-market firms still facing the challenges of hybrid working

Grant Thornton: Scottish mid-market firms still facing the challenges of hybrid working

Scottish mid-market firms are still facing challenges relating to the implementation of hybrid working, according to new research from Grant Thornton UK LLP.

The Business Outlook Tracker survey of mid-market businesses, conducted shortly before the latest work-from-home rules were introduced in mid-December, found that 94 per cent of businesses had adopted a hybrid working approach, with people splitting time between working remotely and in an office.

The research highlighted that one of the most problematic hybrid working challenges was managing the work of junior staff, with more than a third of respondents (38 per cent) who were adopting hybrid working stating that this was an issue.

Ensuring a high level of staff welfare was equally concerning, with the same number pointing to mental wellbeing issues such as reducing isolation and anxiety levels as being a challenge under the current circumstances.

Reduced productivity was another hybrid working obstacle identified by 36 per cent of business leaders taking this approach.

Other challenges causing concern for the Scottish mid-market include the provision of training remotely (34 per cent), having efficient technology to enable hybrid-working (32 per cent) and loss of culture (30 per cent).

Andrew Howie, managing partner of Grant Thornton in Scotland, said: “Despite Scotland’s mid-market being mostly well adapted to hybrid-working now, and some starting to reap the benefits in terms of cost savings, a significant number of businesses are still encountering the same few issues they were almost two years ago.

“Hybrid-working needs time and commitment to be truly effective and there is no one size fits all approach. The whole market is on a learning curve to experiment and find the best method that works for them and ensure their people continue to feel connected and supported by their business and their teams, wherever they work.

“To ensure that younger team members are properly supported, it’s essential that expectations are clearly defined throughout the organisation and not subject to ambiguity or confusion. Setting out clear goals and explaining the support that’s available will help businesses to better support their more junior colleagues in a way that achieves greater levels of engagement while helping them start their careers on the right path.

“Moving forward, Scottish businesses need to be open to evolving and challenging themselves as to how their hybrid working approach can be made more effective, such as through investing in new technology that helps teams to communicate and stay connected, and providing additional guidance on how work is organised and co-ordinated.”

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