Remote vs In-office work: How to appeal to most candidates?

The outlook on how we work has completely changed since the pandemic. How should companies be working in 2023 to appeal to most candidates in the remote vs in-office battle? 

We’re living in a world where how you work is developing constantly. In 2023, only 30% of UK companies are working fully on site, compared to the 57% pre-pandemic.

Whilst remote work has been part of certain careers for a long time, the pandemic flipped the office-based world upside down. Everything turned digital, and those who could were forced to learn how to work remotely.

As things slowly went back to normal, people’s outlook on work life balance changed as many saw the benefits that working remotely can bring.  

So, in 2023, how do people genuinely want to work?

In our own research, 44% preferred remote work, 53% voted hybrid work, with only 3% choosing office-based work. So, what can we do with these results?  

In this blog post we’ll discuss remote vs office-based work within three areas:

💛 Employee well-being

🌆 Company culture

📈 Employee productivity

💛 Employee well-being


64% of workers report going back to the office impacts their mental health negatively. Working remotely provides more time to take care of oneself or others, establishing a better work-life balance.  

The pandemic made people realise that working from home is an option for most jobs – inspiring workers to put themselves, their health, and personal lives first.  

  • Working from home is a life changer when it comes to health and family life, having more time to put into your eating or self-care habits, when they’re not wasted on commuting.
  • Work from home promotes accessibility benefits and in return allows workers to be more productive and comfortable.  
  • Now, many candidates would turn down more pay or perks just to be able to work remotely.  


Remote work can be very lonely and dehumanising. Depending on your living situation, being in the office could be the only time a day people receive a genuine social experience.  

  • By being in an office every day, employees can build friendships with their colleagues more easily and fulfil their social needs. Moreover, the workday can be more fun when doing it with people around.  
  • With those struggling with their mental health, working in an office can prove crucial to help provide social energy.

🌆 Company culture  


Working remotely does not have to put an end to company culture.  

Offering remote work provides access to a wider pool of the workforce and increases appeal to specific demographics, such as individuals with caregiving responsibilities.  

Colleagues can still spend time together online and get to know each other through online games or other interactions. As a company it’s important to schedule meetings often during the week to catch up and hang out when working remotely, to compensate for the time you would have in the office.

You can’t force your employees to go into an office simply to socialise. If workers claim to do better remotely and performance is good, there is no reason to force people into an office simply because it’s tradition.

  • In 2023, a company forcing employees to come into the office to boost morale is having the opposite effect as people don’t want to be there.  
  • If people prefer remote work, the company can’t force them to coexist as all matters of productivity and health will decrease.  
  • Instead, management is ruining their relationship with employers by forcing something that shouldn't be necessary.


88% of professionals have said they would coordinate office days with their teammates to enhance collaboration.  

When working in an office it’s easy to get to know each other and make plans outside of work. By constantly seeing your colleagues every day and working together you create deep bonds and connections.  

📈 Employee productivity


Remote workers are reported to be the most productive, working nearly an hour more than in-office or hybrid workers. By being able to choose your work environment and plan your day more freely, it becomes easier to be effective in your work.  

Instead, 79% work fewer hours when they return to the office than they currently do while working remotely.

  • Productivity decreases as an office can be full of distractions with people talking, music playing or other activities.
  • Moreover, the travel to and from the office can be draining and take a lot of time, which effects one's ability to focus.  


People who work in the office spend 25% more time on employee or career development.

  • Employees in the office spent 40 minutes more a week mentoring other – doing professional development and learning activities, according to WFH Research.

Offices are designed for workers to be comfortable during their workday. A good office will provide spaces for meetings and individual work, refreshments and rooms for social activities. When working remotely a good working environment is not a guarantee as everyone’s living situation looks different.  

  • A lot of people struggled with office space during the pandemic as their small apartments and bedrooms became their new office. This does not bode well for a work-life balance and productivity.  

Is hybrid working the solution?

Making hybrid work the norm could be the best of both worlds – employees will be able to enjoy the freedom of working remotely whilst reaping the benefits from being in the office.  

  • However, the hybrid environment will depend on an organization’s needs, roles, industries, and other criteria.
  • Talent teams should work with candidates needs to better understand what environment best fits them.

As a matter of fact, hybrid working is already becoming an expectation amongst candidates in the job market, as workers are demanding a better work-life balance.  

  • When given the choice, nearly half of employees who can work from home prefer a hybrid arrangement. Over a third of workers are fully in-office and only 20% are fully remote.  

How should companies be working to appeal to most candidates?

Hybrid work offers people the best of both words and is therefore becoming the more popular option for employees and employers alike.  

The reality is that you can’t please everyone, there are clear pros and cons to all three ways of working. The most importatnt thing is to set up the best possible working environment based on:  

  • The kind of company and culture you want to build.
  • How you want to work.

If you’re office-based, have a great office, easily located. If you’re remote, offer WFH allowances, invest in the right remote collaboration tools so people feel connected and can work together effectively.  

By being flexible and adaptable when asking what your workers prefer, you’ll create an equal amount of respect between each party and thus create the best working environment.  

Want to learn more about what employee's value most? Check out our blog post on what employees want most in 2023.