Implementing hybrid working models permanently will help businesses attract the most talented employees, a leading employment solicitor has claimed.

Joanne Stronach, Head of Employment Law and HR at Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors, which has branches in Brampton and Haltwhistle, is recommending businesses retain flexible working patterns where possible in order to keep and recruit the best staff out there, following the success and popularity of working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

As the Government’s consultation on working patterns closes on December 1, a recent survey carried out by business finance lender Sonovate showed that more than half of 18 to 34 year olds in the UK now considered flexible working a key component when choosing a job, with a third making a recent career change to their employment because their existing role didn’t offer hybrid working options.

Joanne said: “The hybrid working model is the best of both worlds as you can have regular face-to-face meetings with customers and clients when you want them, but there’s days where you can solely focus on getting lots done while working at home.

“With the technology we have access to and the experiences we have had since the first lockdown, working from home is now a very realistic alternative to being office based 9-5.

“It could make all the difference to your potential applicants who are likely to be more attracted to the role if it offers flexible working.

“If they work some time from the office and some time from home, then that appeals to a lot of workers as it gives them more flexibility and potentially a better work-life balance.”

Flexible working also has significant benefits for the employer, not just the employee, said Joanne.

She said: “Hybrid office working fits most businesses.

"I think it’s going to be the future way of working as the pandemic showed a lot of employers about what could be done by people working from home.

“It reduces the cost for employers as it reduces the amount of workspace needed and travel expenses, while a lot of workers have reported they are much more productive working from home as they don’t have the disruptions they would in the office.

“Even for collaboration sessions, in the past you would brainstorm during face to face meetings but there is a lot of video call software out there that makes that easier no matter where people are based.”