Biz Extra

Published: June 16, 2021 | Updated: July 19, 2021

Heidi Roper, Director, ViewHR with useful and topical advice on planning for hybrid working 

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Given the past year we have experienced in the workplace, it is not surprising that hybrid working is increasingly being spoken about as a potential ‘new normal’, writes Heidi Roper, Director, ViewHR.

A new report by Barnett Waddingham of 2,000 employees found that a third of workers could leave their job if employers do not continue to provide flexible working beyond the pandemic.

The report  found that 24% expressed a preference for working mostly from home and sometimes in the office, while 20% said they were keen to work mainly in the office and sometimes at home.

Businesses now risk their employees feeling dissatisfied and in today’s competitive job market, the cost of this in recruitment and retention terms far outweighs the cost of a hybrid policy.

Employers considering implementing hybrid working have several things to consider for this to be a success.

First off, it is important to implement a system which easily allows you to identify who is in the office, who is working from home, and who is elsewhere (e.g. customer visit or annual leave) each day.

This is also important for monitoring annual leave and sickness absence.

Employers should review their existing working from home policy if they have one or introduce a hybrid/working from home policy if not, to ensure it is fit for purpose going forward.

Employers should also ensure that employment contracts are clear on where an employee’s registered place of work is.

In many cases, this will remain the office, and occasional working from home will be a discretionary measure offered by the employer.

It is also beneficial for an employer to have a hybrid working policy and application process.

Some employees may want to apply for a formal flexible working arrangement not covered under the hybrid working policy (e.g. reduced hours, reduced days or a permanent change to their place of work), and this will set out how such requests are handled.

Hybrid working isn’t just an HR issue!

Other departments and functions are likely to need to be involved in planning a successful hybrid working approach.

These may include IT, to ensure that employees have the necessary technology, health and safety, as DSE assessments may be appropriate for ongoing arrangements and your Data Protection Officer or whoever heads up data protection issues, to ensure appropriate data management.

For help in planning for hybrid working for your employees, ViewHR are here to help – please contact us for an initial discussion.

You’ll find us at hr@viewhr.co.uk, tel: 01425 205390 or see our website at viewhr.co.uk