The great majority of the UK PR industry is ready to embrace a hybrid working model and ditch the traditional five-day office week, according to new research published by the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA).
The PRCA’s Office Return Study -which gathered the views of 75 agency and in-house leaders– reveals that 44% of senior professionals will not specify the number of days that employees are required to be in the office. Only one in twenty industry leaders expect employees to be in the office five days a week in the future.
The study also quizzed leaders on plans for testing, masks and vaccination policies. Almost a quarter (23%) said they had plans for weekly or fortnightly COVID-19 testing, but the majority (56%) have no plans for testing. Others are say that they will follow Government guidance.
Less than a quarter (22%) of respondents said they have asked staff whether they have been vaccinated, and the overwhelming majority (86%) said they had no plans to implement a vaccine policy.
Finally, 58% said they will not require staff to wear masks, while 35% will require masks to be worn in all areas except for desks, and one in twenty will require employees to wear masks at all times.
PRCA Director General Francis Ingham said:
“The data from the PRCA Office Return Study are conclusive –our industry overwhelmingly stands ready to embrace a new hybrid working model. PR and communications professionals have delivered exceptional work while operating remotely. But ours is a social industry; one in which teams are built and creativity is sparked through face-to-face relationships. There are elements of our practice which simply cannot be replaced by Zoom calls. That is why our future will be built around a hybrid model that fuses the best of both worlds. But let’s be clear -for the great majority of us, our working lives have changed fundamentally and forever.”