The coronavirus pandemic resulted in remote working becoming a highly effective way for many businesses to continue operating, with employees carrying out their duties from home. Now that things are returning to normal, many employers are putting in place a hybrid working arrangement, which sees staff splitting their time between the office and remote workstations.
If your business is considering hybrid working on a long-term basis, here’s some advice from Acas on how to make sure it’s a success.
Consultation and preparation
The first step is to consider what level of hybrid working will be put in place. This includes which types of employees can work remotely, such as team members in your sales, marketing, finance and administration departments.
Next, discuss the topic with your employees and explain why you’re considering making these changes. Ask them for feedback and suggestions in the process, as there may be some concerns that need to be resolved before hybrid working becomes part of your business model.
This discussion isn’t simply a courtesy, as your business may have policies and contracts that require a formal consultation as part of the process.
Amending employment contracts
Making changes to how and where your people work may require you to review employment contracts. Make sure to check existing contracts for references to where staff work, the hours of the day during which they carry out their duties, and how they are managed by supervisors and the senior management team.
Create a hybrid working policy
Large changes such as rolling out hybrid working require a policy that clearly outlines how the system works. Your new hybrid working policy should clarify which departments or roles can split their time between the office and the home, as well as give a limit to how often employees can work remotely. For instance, they may be allowed to work 3 out of 5 days from home each week, which could be specific days or booked as part of a rota system.
Your hybrid working policy will also cover who will supply computer equipment and software, as well as how company data will be protected from cyberattacks. This removes any uncertainty and sets your employees up for working remotely with ease.
Health and safety
Even when they’re working from home, you need to give your employees everything they need to remain safe and healthy. Your business can ensure safe working measures by training staff in how to carry out a risk assessment of their home and reminding them of best practice, such as how to position a screen and taking breaks to prevent aches and pains.
Equality and inclusivity
Regardless of where an employee is working, they should be given access to the same work, support, representatives, and opportunities for personal development. For instance, everyone should still be able speak to their line manager or a recognised trade union even when working remotely, plus opportunities for training and promotion should be unaffected by hybrid working.
Just as crucially, a hybrid working policy should include systems that support workflow, collaboration and communication. It can be easy for employees to feel isolated when working from home, so tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging and project management software will keep them in the loop.
Get in touch
We can help your company to roll out a hybrid working policy and make it a success. For tailored advice and support, please call your closest branch or get in touch through our contact form.