When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many employers had little time to react. That meant they had to adapt ─ quickly.
The single biggest change to the workplace was employees making the switch to working from home. This change was difficult, but more than a year into the public health emergency, employers and employees have adapted and seen the benefits of working from home. However, many employers are keen to restore face-to-face interactions.
The government is in the process of introducing a new right that will allow employees to request remote work. In practice, this may mean that employers will have to introduce a 'hybrid working' model. This will see the working week divided between working from home and working in the office.
To help you prepare for hybrid working, we set out some simple steps below.
Planning for hybrid working
Here are four key considerations for the planning stage.
Vision: What will it look like? Having answers to simple questions such as “What will be the ratio of home-to-office hours?” and “How will employees communicate?” will help establish a vision of how your business will operate in a hybrid system.
Needs: What are the needs of your business? Are there any functions that must be done on location? Are there functions that are best performed remotely?
Training: Is training needed? Engagement with management and senior staff will be vital as they will be able to see opportunities and risks with the hybrid model.
Health, safety, and welfare: How will you ensure the wellbeing of employees during hybrid working? What are the health & safety implications? How can team cohesion be maintained and enhanced?
Roll-out of hybrid working model
When rolling out your hybrid working model, take these factors into consideration.
Providing notice: It’s important to give employees as much notice as possible of the new system so questions can be answered and concerns addressed.
Consultation: Establish a clear communication structure so employees can raise issues that they foresee.
Timeline: Employees should know exactly when the changes will be introduced and how they may affect their roles.
Review: Employees should know that the changes are experimental. It’s essential to keep data on productivity, profitability, attendance, and other objective measures so everyone can see if the system is working.
Many changes to the way we work lie right around the corner.
Some of those changes will be cultural while others will be legal. When it comes to hybrid working, it’s vital to keep your entire workforce informed of the changes that are coming and to engage in a constructive manner with everyone affected.
While that can lead to some discomfort, there are huge opportunities for employers and employees ahead.
Need our help with your HR and health & safety issues?
Call our 24/7 helpline for instant advice on any HR or health & safety issues you’re having. To speak to an expert now, call 1890 252 923.