A recent survey in The Times reported that half of employees would look for a new job if their bosses did not allow flexible working after lockdown. Is a hybrid flexible working model the future?

What's been apparent during the lockdown, and probably only pertaining to work, is that many workers have found the flexible home working actually beneficial on many levels.

Saying a goodbye to long commutes, overcrowded trains or long drives for relatively mundane meetings has been a blessing, and it's been proven, if there was any doubt, that we can be equally if not more productive in the home setting.

But that's not to say that home working is for everyone. It has many problems and limitations, not least in reliable high-speed internet and the ever-present risk of distraction or working against uncontrollable background noise.

Bosses in some sectors also feel uncomfortable having a large proportion of their workers out of sight where, for decades in some cases, they are used to seeing staff at desks in the head-office. It's been a large culture shift having to adopt to the remote working model.

So could a blended approach, work from home, work from flexible workspaces near home and work on occasion in the main office be the answer? BluDesks CEO Chelliah Nakeeran thinks there's a strong case for this.

"At BluDesks, we have been aware, even before the pandemic, that people were wanting another way of working, more flexibility and greater personal control over how they work. The recently published survey results, stating that 49% would look for a new job if bosses did not give flexible working after lockdown, are in line with our own insights.

"With BluDesks, a member can now choose a well-equipped and hygienic workspace closer to their home, with great internet connectivity and zero of the distractions found at home. It cuts the commute, increases socialisation and we think this leads to happier workers and therefore increased productivity.

"As well as individual members joining, we're seeing an uptick in corporate memberships, where bosses sign up and offer unlimited business centre access to their employees under one membership plan. This also demonstrates employers' care and empathy for workers' preferred working habits, increasing productivity and staff retention over the long term."

A separate survey, conducted with 500 employers by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, found that one in four of large businesses would consider hiring people who did not live close to their main office, further reflecting the shift towards a more flexible labour market.

Looking at the situation from both the point of view of the employee and the business owner, it looks probable, given the recent results from both of the surveys, that a hybrid model of working will be something likely to be seen much more, over the coming months and years.

Chelliah states, "What's for sure is there's no going back to exactly the way things were before lockdown, it's a paradigm shift that's happening and the evidence is clear from employees, that greater flexibility is key. It's the reason with BluDesks there are no contracts or tie-ins. It's a simple pay-as-you-go service that allows members to make their own choices."

Find out more about the BluDesks membership here