The Second Annual National Remote Working Survey has revealed that over 95% of workers would welcome some form of remote working. Furthermore, fewer than 5% of workers surveyed want a full-time return to the office.
What this survey shows is that workers would prefer a split between working from the office and the home. This kind of arrangement is known as “hybrid” working ― and it is emerging as a real alternative to traditional working arrangements.
Should hybrid working be of interest to you, here are four things to first consider.
If you implement a hybrid working arrangement, you’ll need to develop a new policy as well as undertake a thorough revision of existing policies. That’s because the switch could impact a range of policies, from disciplinary and grievance to IT and employee monitoring.
When it comes to the employment contracts of existing staff, it may be difficult to update them without the employees’ agreement. A unilateral change could lead to a breach of contract claim.
When reviewing staff contracts, it’s important to agree any changes to terms and conditions with staff before confirming any hybrid working arrangements. For new hires, terms covering hybrid working can be written into their contracts from the beginning of employment.
3. Managing teams
The past 12 months have shown the importance of sound communication as many employees made the move to remote working. Maintaining strong communication with staff who are working a hybrid model will be a big challenge.
Staying in contact with hybrid staff while they work from home can be done through daily/weekly meetings either in person or remotely. Giving staff clear targets to work towards will also allow you to monitor the arrangement’s success and evaluate performance during these regular meetings.
4. Training and development
Staff and managers will need to be well-equipped to transition to hybrid working and know what to expect from it. Training is likely to be necessary for management to help manage productivity as staff work from different working locations.
The way we work is changing
Currently, no legal obligation on employers to provide staff with hybrid working options exists. However, the Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment have held a public consultation that will inform the introduction of a legal right for employees to request remote work. This legal right is scheduled to come into effect later this year.
Elsewhere, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is seeking the public’s views on how flexible work arrangements could help support work-life balance and develop a more inclusive labour market.
As previously mentioned, remote working has grown in popularity over the past 12 months. As both the Government and workers increasingly favour remote and flexible working options, employers need to prepare for change.
If you want to provide remote work options for your staff, it’s best to begin preparations as soon as possible. Hybrid working could be a great move for many businesses but effective processes and procedures will need to be put in place to safeguard operations, productivity, and employee health and welfare.
Do you have questions about hybrid working?
If you have questions about hybrid working, speak to a HR expert today on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.