Anna Lovett explores the UK Flexible Working Taskforce’s recent practical guidance on hybrid-working for employers.
One of the lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic was that, when there was no alternative available, employees could effectively operate and perform their jobs from home. The lifting of restrictions saw a phased return to the office, however many employees realised that they were both happier and better off financially working from the comfort of their own homes.
Hybrid-working become a popular middle-ground for a number of employers, which is a form of flexible working that allows employees to spend part of their working week working remotely (usually at home), and the remainder at the employer’s workplace.
Allowing employees, the flexibility of home working does however come with its problems, such as monitoring performance and productivity as well as issues with communication and morale. These issues led to the establishment of a specific Government task-force, dedicated to Flexible Working which produced guidance to help employers deal with the issues that could arise and promote fair and sustainable hybrid-working practices.
Flexible Working Taskforce Guidance on Hybrid-Working – Overview
Any employers that currently offer or are thinking of offering hybrid-working to their staff are recommended to read through the helpful guidance, which can be found here.
It acknowledges that not everyone will want to, or will be able to, work in a hybrid way depending on their particular role and personal circumstances – however for the majority that it works for, it gives important considerations on how to effectively operate any such schemes.
In particular, the guidance includes information on:
- The key benefits of such policies and implementation tips;
- Effective training for leadership roles on their changing day-to-day management of hybrid-based teams and people management (such as communication, relationship building and performance issues) as well as 12 top tips for managing hybrid-workers effectively;
- Recruitment and Induction issues that hybrid-working brings, such as the need to adapt recruitment process and hiring workers who have the technical skills to work successfully in a hybrid-environment and changing induction processes to reflect the change in working patterns;
- Inclusion and Fairness considerations – such as fair access to hybrid-working schemes, equality of treatment between hybrid and non-hybrid workers and consistent, transparent decisions relating to any such hybrid-work;
- Health, safety and wellbeing considerations – to ensure that staff who are hybrid-working are properly cared for and supported. Some companies are taking a flexible approach to the recent Plan B restrictions by allowing additional time in the office if required for employees’ mental health, as employers acknowledge how difficult working from home can be, particularly if employees live alone.
Burnetts can provide hands-on HR support to assist employers with the practicalities of dealing with hybrid-working, to ensure that your business maintains productivity whilst increasing staff morale.
If you require any advice and support on this, please contact our Employment Law and HR team at email@example.com