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Hybrid, Remote, or Office? Which is Best for Talent Attraction & Retention?

Updated: Apr 24

Attracting and Retaining Talent

Attracting and retaining top talent has ranked as the top concern for CEOs globally for the last 3 years. High-performing, engaged staff are crucial to the long-term success of your company. However, creating the conditions to recruit and keep those staff is far from easy.

In the last 3 years, this has only become even more complicated, as your working model has become another factor impacting your talent attraction and retention. In that time, we’ve seen a huge shift in the way offices are designed and used.

As a workspace strategy company, we’ve had a lot of experience helping companies to choose their working model, and then designing and building a workspace to support that. Often, talent attraction & retention is one of their key concerns.

In this article, we’ll go through each working model, explaining its key benefits and drawbacks related to staff attraction and retention. By the end, you’ll be better educated about working models and HR strategies, and better prepared to choose your working model.

Of course, talent attraction & retention is only one part of the working model puzzle. There are also a host of other important factors, such as productivity, culture, and real estate costs. To learn more about those, download your working model guide. It compares each working model by 7 key criteria, and gives you several key factors to help you choose the right working model for your company.

Office Working

In-office working is the traditional (and still the most common) working model. 46% of UK office workers work exclusively in the office. However, the unexpected success of remote and hybrid working means that an in-office working model is no longer the default for every company.

One of the main advantages of in-office working is that it is the best working model for culture. 84% of workers are motivated to go into the office to reconnect with colleagues. This, in turn, increases job satisfaction and retention. According to the Harvard Business Review, “the value of the office is more in the people than the place”. As a result, your staff retention will improve.

However, operating an in-office working model does limit your access to talent geographically. All your staff will have to live within commuting distance of your office(s). In-office working is also less popular than hybrid working with staff. As a result, you may find it harder to attract talent.

Hybrid Working

Hybrid working involves working some of the time in the office, and some of the time remotely. There are a lot of different types of hybrid working, from the standard 3/2 (3 days in the office, 2 at home) to working a certain amount of hours in the office per month, with no exact stipulations when. 25% of people currently work hybrid, down from over 40% 2 years ago.

The main advantage of hybrid working is its popularity with staff. While they like the flexibility and convenience of working from home, they also appreciate the benefits of spending time with their colleagues. As a result, it is relatively easy to attract new staff if you offer a hybrid working model. It also allows access to a larger talent pool than in-office working, as commuting distances can be longer if staff don’t have to commute every day.

On the other hand, hybrid workers often struggle to find a good work/life balance when working from home. It can also cause more communication difficulties than either of the other working models. This lowers job satisfaction and consequently retention. Depending on how you implement hybrid working, there is also the risk of getting most of the negatives and few of the benefits.

Remote Working

Remote working is exactly what it sounds like – staff work remotely (not necessarily at home) all the time. This is the simplest and most extreme method of dispersed working. It was almost unheard of until 3 years ago, but its unexpected success has made it popular with some.

Remote working means staff can be located anywhere. This gives you access to an almost infinite talent pool, making it much easier to recruit new staff.

However, it is much harder to build and maintain a great culture with a dispersed culture. Culture is mainly about commitment between colleagues, rather than commitment to the company. As a result, it is much harder to retain talent than with an in-office or hybrid model.

Choosing Your Working Model

There are a lot of different factors that impact which working model is the best for you. These include your industry, strategy, growth plans, culture, workforce demographics, and much more. All these are unique to you, so there is no answer to “Which is the best working model for talent attraction & retention?”. Which is best for your company depends on your unique circumstances.

Having said that, hybrid working is best for most companies. It is popular with workers, making it easier to recruit staff, while the amount of in-person time with colleagues makes it possible to build culture and engagement. Hybrid working balances staff attraction & retention the best.

Now that you know about how the different working models affect talent attraction & retention, you’re better educated and prepared to choose the right working model for your company. Along with staff productivity and culture, attraction & retention should be one of your top 3 considerations when making this decision.

Of course, there are also a host of other important factors. To learn more about those, download your working model guide. It compares each working model by 7 key criteria, and gives you several key factors to help you choose the right working model for your company. For more help in choosing the right working model, read this article.



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