Top Tips for Employers on Hybrid Working
- AuthorCatherine Almeida
Hybrid Working is a form of flexible working where working time is split between remote working away from the workplace (at home or some other remote location) and time spent in the workplace.
If you can embrace it as an employer in your industry it has benefits for both employers and workers. For employees this can include:
- Nil or a reduced commute time and expenses with the benefit of reduced stress
- Better work life balance
- Access to a wider job market
For employees this can include:
- Reduced overheads for office space and travel
- Increased productivity (debatable by some) and better motivation (many employees see it as a perk)
- Operational mobility (access to a wider market of candidates)
If you are going to embrace hybrid working as an employer, it’s important to have a clear and accessible hybrid working policy to help you to control any risks such as health and safety and data protection. This will also ensure each party knows the expectations of them, such as hours of work, rest breaks, where work can be carried out, who supplies equipment and who pays for expenses that may be incurred such as internet and phone.
The contract of employment should also be updated, including any restrictive covenants that may need to be adapted to suit the change in work location.
Be aware that employees working from home may experience feelings of loneliness and boredom, and can feel alienated from their organisation and developments within it. They may also find it more difficult to separate their work life from their home life.
To overcome this, ensure there is regular interaction with hybrid workers for their own mental health, for collaboration and to maintain the company culture. This can include:
- Weekly team meetings (which could be virtual)
- Collaboration workshops (which could be virtual)
- Staff away days and/or office based days
- Regular line manager 1-2-1 meetings where matters can be discussed openly and privately
- Staff socials
- Line manager training to ensure tailored management styles
- A weekly catch up to plan work and set tasks and deadlines
Before agreeing to a permanent change to hybrid working, set an initial trial period with the right to revert to any previous mode of working (such as office working full time). This gives both the employer and the employee the chance to make sure the arrangement works and the opportunity to iron out any issues before the change is made permanent.
Make sure that flexible working requests are dealt with formally and in a reasonable manner which will usually involve;
- Meeting with the employee allowing right of accompaniment
- Detailed consideration of the application
- Communication of the decision
- The right of appeal
The application should be dealt with within three months and there are limited grounds upon which it can be refused, which are:
- The burden of additional costs
- Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
- Inability to reorganise work among existing staff
- Inability to recruit additional staff
- Detrimental impact on quality
- Detrimental impact on performance
- Insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work
- Planned structural changes
If you would like to discuss hybrid working further, including any resulting contractual changes or policy updates, please do not hesitate to contact our Employment and HR team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03333 208644.
This content does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only.