One in three Scottish workers to stay away from office as business confidence picks up
One in three staff who was exclusively office-based before the pandemic is expected to home-work part or full-time in the long-term according to a survey of hundreds of Scottish businesses, which also shows sentiment continuing to improve.
The Addleshaw Goddard Scottish Business Monitor – published in partnership with the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute – indicates that businesses are optimistic about their volume of business, employment levels and turnover over the next six months.
The proportion of businesses noting that they were somewhat confident or highly confident that they will continue trading through the next six months has risen from 82.6 per cent in the final quarter of 2020 to 91.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2021.
More than 500 Scottish firms responded to the survey. Accommodation and food services businesses have reported positive sentiment over the quarter for the first time since the tail end of 2019 and expectations for the next six months are the most optimistic in seven years.
In the long-term, businesses expect that about two in three staff who previously only worked in the workplace will continue to do so, more than one in five staff will work part-time at home and part-time in the workplace, and around one in ten will work from home full time.
Just over half of firms now expect to operate at normal or above normal levels of capacity over the next six months.
Half of responding businesses had open vacancies to hire new staff, of which 77 per cent said they were finding it difficult or very difficult to fill.
Addi Spiers, restructuring and finance partner at Addleshaw Goddard, said: “We’re now seeing more firms embrace some sort of normality. The latest results from our Business Monitor show that this, alongside the move to level 0, has brought further positivity in the volume of activity for Scottish companies.
“Recruitment and retention of staff remains a top priority for all sectors and movement in the market will continue well into the new year as firms pivot to new, more flexible ways of working – particularly as most adopt long-term hybrid working models.”