UK business leaders need to examine the efficacy of hybrid work for their employees, according to a new study by workforce communication software company Slack.

A majority (87%) of IT leaders say they are investing to improve their business’ digital experience, however, only half of workers (50%) feel their employers are doing enough to improve hybrid work.

The ‘How Productivity Platforms Can Power Business Impact’ report from Slack, which surveyed 1,650 UK knowledge workers and 350 IT decision makers identified the challenges of the hybrid working model, from tackling inefficiencies caused by too many meetings to addressing a lack of meaningful connection between colleagues.

The majority (60%) of workers say that too many or unnecessary meetings are preventing them from meaningful, focused work. According to the study, employees in the UK spend on average a whole working day each week (7 hours and 42 minutes) on meetings— either on video calls, face-to-face, or coordinating them. In contrast, just over 9 hours each week is spent on focused deep work.

The situation has only become worse as employees return to the office post-Covid, with 36% of employees reporting they spend more time on video calls in 2023 than 12 months ago. Over a third (34%) of workers believe cutting down on meetings would boost productivity by giving them more time to focus on completing essential work.

More than a quarter of employees (27%) say that moving away from 30-minute video meetings and replacing them with shorter quick audio-only meetings would make them more productive.

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By GlobalData

Stuart Templeton, UK head at Slack said: “This is the first time businesses have faced tough economic headwinds since the majority adopted hybrid work. Providing a good digital experience is critical to success in today’s digital-first world and it’s clear there’s a disconnect between IT leaders and employees on that front.”