HR2day, an HR specialist based in Darlington, has announced the results of the September Snapshot, a business survey it commissioned last month.
The purpose of the research was to analyse the position of companies in the local area 18 months on from the first lockdown in March 2020.
The results found:
- 45 percent of businesses have increased their number of staff in the past 18 months
- 30 percent of businesses have decreased their number of staff in the past 18 months
- 25 percent of businesses have not returned or have no intention of returning to the office
- 70 percent of businesses have introduced flexible working policies
- 25 percent of businesses still had staff on furlough when the scheme wrapped up
- 20 percent of businesses plan to make redundancies by the end of the year
Nicky Jolley, founder and managing director of HR2day said: “The last 18 months have been trying for businesses, and we wanted to get a snapshot of where we are now, so we can help employers now the furlough scheme has wrapped up.
“It is no surprise that many businesses have introduced flexible working policies, such as core hours, some opportunity to work from home and flexitime, because the lockdown demonstrated that a different way of working could not only be accommodated, but in some cases, led to increased productivity.
“Considering the government’s latest announcements on getting employees back to the office, I was surprised that such a large percentage of businesses have no plans to return. I wonder if this will change in the new year, when the reality of a full-time work from home staff kicks in.
“Sadly, it was inevitable that redundancies would need to be made once the furlough scheme wrapped up. While the support was available, it kept many people in jobs, however, it couldn’t last forever, and unfortunately some businesses needed to reduce their workforce to keep afloat. It will have been a difficult decision, and we are available to support anyone who needs advice about the most appropriate way to address this with their staff.”
Nicky continued: “The overall picture of the Tees Valley business landscape is a positive one. Employees are returning to work, enjoying more flexibility and almost half being in the position to create jobs. Things may be returning to some sort of normal, which is, I’m sure we agree, fantastic news.”