Remote and Hybrid Work Trends Shaping the UK in 2024

Digital Downtime for Remote-Only Businesses
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Work culture in the United Kingdom has experienced significant changes in recent years, many of which were accelerated by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

This shift has paved the way for the widespread adoption of remote and hybrid work arrangements, as many businesses, start-ups, and organisations transformed their traditional office-centric culture into a more flexible and digitally-connected environment.

As we plan our year, let’s explore five important remote work trends that will influence the UK labour market in 2024. Those who are in the process of job hunting (especially for remote jobs!) should particularly pay attention to these trends, refine their portfolio by following professional CV examples, and familiarise themselves with remote-specific workplace tools like Zoom, Asana, and Notion.

The Growing Popularity of Hybrid Work

The appeal of the hybrid work model has solidified its popularity across the UK, with more and more companies continuing to adopt this approach. In fact, a CIPD survey found that 70% of UK employees were interested in a hybrid work model in 2023, a steady jump up from 64% in 2022 — and the number is predicted to rise further this year.

The hybrid work model is exactly what it sounds like: a combination of partially working at the company’s office and partially at another space (whether that’s at home, at a coworking space, or somewhere else). This flexible arrangement allows employees to perform most of their duties from home, while also coming into the office for important meetings or specific tasks as needed.

This model is popular with both employees and managers, as it fosters a balance between flexibility and organisation, autonomy and creativity, and personal space and teamwork. Hybrid work is most common in industries like marketing, IT (information technology), accounting and finance, human resources, sales, project management, and some medical roles.

However, practically any industry and company can take advantage of hybrid work — the key to a successful hybrid work situation is having a quiet workspace, planning out your work day, and getting into the correct ‘workflow’ (i.e. conduct negotiations in the office and write reports at home in silence).

Enhanced Cyber​Security Measures

As remote work becomes more common — along with an unfortunate increase in new scams — the importance of cybersecurity has never been greater!

In 2024, many experts anticipate a significant focus on implanting cybersecurity measures to counteract the sophisticated cyber threats that have recently emerged. The advent of AI (artificial intelligence) has equipped cybercriminals with tools to create convincing fake communications and take advantage of phishing tactics.

For example, hackers have learned to use AI to automate their attacks on companies and employees, create deep fake videos, and craft emails that look as if they were real. Dozens of employees from a well-known company received emails from Zoom that were practically indistinguishable from the real thing — but when they clicked the link, hackers instantly stole their Outlook credentials.

In response, businesses have already started to invest in cybersecurity by implementing advanced security protocols such as multi-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption, as well as conducting regular cybersecurity training among employees.

Hiring Beyond Borders

After the widespread adoption of remote work, the global recruitment market has seen rapid growth, and this trend is anticipated to continue its surge into 2024.

Remote work and digital collaboration tools have enabled companies to attract and retain talent from different countries. This has resulted in many positives, such as creating culturally diverse teams, bridging any skill gaps within the organisation, and increasing companies’ productivity.

Global recruitment will continue to focus on improving existing techniques and practices in 2024, such as enhancing communication and collaboration in multicultural teams, supporting work across different time zones, and helping international employees integrate better into the company’s culture.

Remote Training & Employee Development

Employee training and development is becoming a popular topic, especially when it comes to constantly-evolving technology and new digital tools used in the workplace. Gone are the days of hands-on training or boring week-long seminars — instead, companies are developing strategies to support the professional development of employees by investing in online platforms like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy.

By integrating these platforms into their training programs, companies give employees the ability to further their knowledge at a time and place that’s convenient for them.

In addition to these platforms, mentorship programs and virtual workshops are becoming important components of corporate training strategies that also allow employees to enhance their skills and knowledge remotely.

A Focus Towards Employee Wellbeing

While work-life balance isn’t a new trend, it’s certainly gaining momentum and is expected to be a hot topic in 2024.

Years of research show that employee well-being directly influences productivity and overall company performance, and as such, adopting a flexible working environment has become a priority for many workplaces across the UK.

Moreover, companies are leaning into work-life balance perks like time-off policies and encouraging employees to use their allotted vacation time; mental health support and access to counselling services; childcare support; and clear-cut working hours.