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The Best Professions For Hybrid Working In The UK: How To Help Your Business Adapt

Since COVID-19 accelerated the pace of change, hybrid working, where employees work both in the office and remotely, has gathered momentum quickly across the UK. The flexibility of hybrid working is now seen by many as a job perk, or even necessity, following a shift in the understanding of how traditionally office-based jobs can be done. Jobseekers get the best of both worlds - the instant communication and collaboration you get in the office, along with the convenience of being able to work from home.

Yet not all businesses are fully equipped to deal with the office technology challenges of hybrid adoption.

One recent study revealed that 76% of employees want some degree of flexibility in where they can work. And yet, a 2022 AT&T Future of Work survey revealed that a similar proportion of businesses - 72% - do not have a complete hybrid work strategy.

The role of technology in enabling office-based work to be done flexibly cannot be underestimated. Without an office technology strategy, IT training, technical support and internet bandwidth can be common challenges for employers to contend with. It can be difficult to keep track of data and information, and ensure that staff are correctly saving documents on a work server, and not just on their own desktop.

What industries are most equipped to offer hybrid work? And which office-based occupations are falling behind the curve, and struggling to manage employee desires with their operational abilities?

Hybrid work: What professions are leading the way?

To explore the industries that are best suited for job seekers looking for flexible working, ECI used LinkedIn to analyse over 220,000 job postings, to search for the number of hybrid, remote and in-person job roles available. This was based on the current list of the most common office-based occupations, according to the ONS.


We also looked at the seniority of each role, and how this could impact hybrid work opportunities.

Top 20: Civil engineering ranks first

Rank

Job

Hybrid roles available

Total number of jobs

% of jobs that are hybrid

1

Civil Engineer

486

1,138

42.71%

2

Barrister

270

637

42.39%

3

Underwriter

150

354

42.37%

4

Investment Analyst

181

445

40.67%

5

Business Analyst

1,197

2,997

39.94%

6

Legal Associate

314

798

39.35%

7

Graphic Designer

388

1,007

38.53%

8

Telecommunications Engineer

159

415

38.31%

9

Actuary

207

546

37.91%

10

Solicitor

408

1,128

36.17%

11

Conservation Specialist

92

257

35.8%

12

UX Designer

307

868

35.37%

13

Quantity Surveyor

525

1,494

35.14%

14

Occupational therapist

47

149

31.54%

15

Procurement Officer

201

646

31.11%

16

SEO specialist

1,072

3,579

29.95%

17

Librarian

70

244

28.69%

18

Counsellor

62

219

28.13%

19

Research and Development Officer

784

2,786

28.14%

20

Forestry Operative

29

105

27.62%

Of the jobs analysed, civil engineering specialists place top, with 42% of jobs advertised as hybrid roles. Office-based civil engineers working on infrastructure projects in the public and private sectors will benefit the most from flexible offerings.

Some people may associate civil engineering with on-site work such as the creation of HS2 - the UK's new high speed rail network. However there are a number of office-based roles, including project management and performance analysis, which involve a data-led approach to ensuring projects are delivered on time and to the best quality.

Hybrid work has been overwhelmingly embraced by the legal industry

Law-focused office jobs have fared the best overall in our research. Barristers, underwriters, legal associates and actuaries all placed in the top ten, which could be a sign of the industry’s choice to digitally transform at a speed ahead of others. Virtual court proceedings are now becoming more common, while reserving certain legal activities and client meetings for the office.

With contracts a pivotal part of the job role for many legal associates, the law industry is a great example of how a sector can use appropriate business management software to facilitate document and contract workflow and ensure they can work collaboratively on case management processes.

Creative industries also fared well, with 38% of graphic design job roles now being advertised as hybrid, and UX designers in 12th place overall.

How does job seniority affect hybrid working opportunities?

Our research shows that, on average, every occupation had 303 more hybrid jobs available for management compared to those in entry-level positions.

One reason for this could be due to offices feeling that juniors will feel more integrated within the team if they work on-site, another could be due to IT reasons. If someone is not properly trained in the technical set-up of the job and they have an IT issue at home, they may be prone to troubleshooting themselves, which can cause a myriad of problems.

However, despite management positions topping the list, director-level jobs had fewer hybrid opportunities, suggesting that some careers prefer the most senior staff to be closer to the daily goings on in the office.

Seniority

Average number of hybrid job roles available per occupation

Average number of job roles available in total

% of hybrid roles available per occupation

Management

327.4

1575.2

20.78%

Director-level

67.7

556

12.19%

Intern/Entry-level

17.5

345.7

5.06%

In civil engineering, which came top in our hybrid work index, interns and entry-level positions had zero hybrid opportunities, compared to 482 for management, and four for directors.

Similarly, in web design, there were 225 positions advertised as entry-level across the UK - but none of them were advertised as remote or hybrid. This is in direct comparison with management-level roles, where there were 165 hybrid positions - more than the on-site jobs advertised.

Hybrid working: How can my business stay connected?

Hybrid working has many benefits, but you might be concerned about how to manage your office technology across multiple different locations.


When you create a hybrid work environment, you don’t just need to think about how to communicate effectively. Businesses also need to be aware of any VPN challenges, security issues, how to share documents electronically, manage office supplies, and more.

What is field service software?

Field service software, like e-automate, ECI’s office technology business management platform, can help you to gain visibility into your entire business, no matter your location. You can manage the unique challenges of workflow automation while some of your business is in the office, and some of it is at home or elsewhere.

In his recent blog, Jamie Bradley, sales engineer for Field Service at ECI, drew on the importance of diversifying your business model to stay relevant in the new hybrid workforce. He explores how print’s continued decline is combining with flexible work to encourage businesses to digitally transform and provide on-demand access to systems and data.

Jamie delves into how he’s seen the industry grow and evolve in the last decade, and how businesses can realise their potential through automation services.

And as companies continue to focus on retaining staff and nurturing their talent, cloud-based software solutions can offer smaller businesses the ability to compete with bigger corporations. Instead of spending hours on administrative tasks such as data entry and validations, companies can instead dedicate more of their attention into winning new clients and customers, upskilling their staff, and innovating the business.

For Jamie Bradley’s blog on field service software, see here: https://www.ecisolutions.com/en-gb/blog/meet-the-team-jamie-bradley-sales-engineer-for-field-service/

Businesses can find out more information on e-automate here: https://www.ecisolutions.com/en-gb/products/e-automate/

Methodology

To create the Hybrid Work Index, we took the most common office-based jobs, according to the most recent ONS data on Standard Occupational Classification.

We then used LinkedIn’s job search function to analyse the number of hybrid, in-person and remote jobs available for each occupation. We also used its experience level function to filter by internship, mid-senior and director level to establish how seniority is affected.

Data is corrected as of July 2022.

ECI Staff Contributors

About the Author

ECI Staff Contributors love to share their insights and expertise on a variety of topics including sales, marketing, cloud, ERP, and SMB development as well as on product specific education. With offices throughout the United States, Mexico, England, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, more than 40 employees contribute to blog on a regular basis.