Scots firms urged to support increasingly mainstream hybrid working - which is being adopted by quarter of staff at large firms

Large firms in Scotland are being encouraged to brush up their communication skills and invest in technology, after figures show that more than a quarter of their staff are now using hybrid working.

Edinburgh-based public speaking firm Speak With Impact, which is co-led by former MSP and shadow finance secretary Gavin Brown, has highlighted the Office for National Statistics’ Business Insights and Conditions Survey that asked more than 1,100 Scottish companies where their staff were based in June.

This showed that 26 per cent of people in firms with more than 250 workers in Scotland were reported as “using a hybrid model of working”, slightly higher than the UK figure of 25.3 per cent.

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In some sectors, like information and communication, nearly two thirds of the workforce were spending part of the week in the office and part at home, according to the survey, and overall 7.1 per cent were working exclusively from home in large firms, according to the study. It analysed the responses of 8,912 businesses across the UK, including 1,140 in Scotland, of which 394 had more than 250 employees.

Speak With Impact said it has spent the last two years training companies in how to “excel” in the hybrid world. Director Mr Brown said businesses in Scotland would have to improve their communication skills within the hybrid world, particularly when it comes to pitching for new business and clients using hybrid presentations.

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He explained: “It’s been clear for some time that businesses across Scotland and the UK would adopt some degree of hybrid working. This report confirms it is now embedded in the workings of big business, and that will present challenges and opportunities.

"Here in Scotland, we need to prepare at all levels for change. That includes improving training when it comes to using virtual applications like Zoom properly, and some serious investment in technology too.

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More than a quarter of staff in firms in Scotland with more than 250 workers are using hybrid working (file image). Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

“That will allow Scottish businesses to embrace hybrid on a global scale and start pitching for business from the rest of the world. If we get this right, it will boost the economy, increase high-quality employment opportunities, and open up to the world to businesses who previously operated mainly within these shores.”

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