Hybrid and remote working seem to be here to stay. HSBC is a notable recent example of an employer acknowledging hybrid working as a factor in their choice of office space. Meanwhile, statistics quoted by the Guardian suggest workers in Central London are typically spending 2.3 days a week in the office on average – quite a difference from the traditional 5-day office week. With this shift, the question many will be asking is what remote and hybrid working arrangements mean for disabled employees.
Now it’s time for disabled employees to have their say. Lancaster University have launched a survey to understand disabled workers’ experiences of remote and hybrid working, and are inviting anyone with the following criteria to take part:
- You have a disability or long-term condition.
- You work in the public, private, or third sector of any size.
- You have experience of remote or hybrid working.
This survey will take 15-20 minutes to complete but does not need to be completed in one session; progress can be saved for later. It will be open for responses until Monday 5 February 2024.
Our CEO Diane Lightfoot was involved in the advisory group for the research, and we would strongly encourage any disabled employees within our membership to take part in this anonymous survey. The research will help inform how employers can make remote and hybrid working more inclusive for disabled workers.
In their call for participants, the researchers at Lancaster University made similar points about how important hybrid and remote working arrangements are for the recruitment, retention and career success of disabled employees.
Click here to participate in the survey, and more information on the research itself can be found on the project website here: https://wp.lancs.ac.uk/inclusive-working/front-page/disabled-workers-survey/
For more information, to get a different format of the survey, or to take part in a different way, you can email the research team at firstname.lastname@example.org
More on the hybrid working debate
Our own research has shown that the option to work from home has only become more important since its widespread adoption during the pandemic. In The Great Big Workplace Adjustments Survey 2023, 72% of disabled employees told us that it was easier to manage their disability or condition when working at home. 52% said that the pandemic was the first time they had the option to do so. In fact, one person described the pandemic-driven shift to home working by writing, in capitals, as “FANTASTIC”. You can read more about the impact of pandemic-era changes in working styles in the ‘Working life during and since the COVID-19 pandemic’ chapter of The Great Big Workplace Adjustments Survey report.
The Great Big Workplace Adjustments Survey 2023 was conducted by Business Disability Forum and sponsored by Microlink. It examines the experiences of nearly 1,500 disabled employees and 400 managers around workplace adjustments and inclusion.