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Over half of workers would quit if not offered hybrid working options, according to a survey by Microsoft.

The tech giant, which contends that hybrid working has become a “must-have”, found 51% of employees would be willing to quit if the current mix of home and office work disappeared post-pandemic.

Whether they’d actually take the plunge is another matter, but the fact that they feel strongly enough to want to should be enough to concern employers.

The survey, which polled over 2000 employees and 500 HR decision-makers in October 2021, also found most HR managers agreed that hybrid working was beneficial, with some 59% saying it “had a positive effect on the mental wellbeing of their workforce."

The “Great Resignation” is in full swing in both Europe and the US (where it’s been dubbed the “Big Quit”). 4.4 million Americans resigned in September alone, looking for better working conditions in a tight labour market. However, CNBC reckons the trend may die out once pandemic income support dries out, driving labour market participation back up.

Meanwhile, UK job switches hit a two-decade high of 979,000 between July and September 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Another odd side-effect of the switch to remote work during Covid, according to Microsoft, is that 36% of workers hired after the start of the pandemic were onboarded without ever setting foot in their new workplace.

This has had a predictably negative impact, with 42% of these new hires saying they struggled to form relationships at work, 33% feeling they lacked direction from managers, 24% struggling to learn new applications and software, 23% saying they had trouble earning their colleagues’ confidence, and 21% not connecting with the company culture.

36% of HR managers found it hard to train new hires, and 35% said they weren't confident that newcomers had access to the right information.

However, both HR managers and employers agree that the pros of hybrid working outweigh the cons. 37% of HR managers said access to the right technology made hybrid onboarding workers a solvable challenge.

Microsoft is preparing for a permanent shift to hybrid working by adding new remote and in-meeting features to its online communications platform Teams.

Posted by: Morgan Spencer