Hybrid working – are you ready?
The Covid 19 Pandemic has undoubtedly created a paradigm shift to the way we work. As we near the end of the Government’s Roadmap employers need to assess how they will operate in the longer term. Has the new WFH experiment created out of necessity actually proved to be a benefit to business, reducing overheads and staff absences or has the lack of social cohesion created by an office environment damaged the motivation and potential of your team? Perhaps in reality, you have experienced a bit of both.
Many employers are now considering a form of hybrid working, combining working from home with attendance at the office. This change brings with it a new set of challenges and opportunities. Employers need to consider the practical matters of desk spacing and kitchen use, alongside cultural questions of how regularly should teams meet in person to ensure they remain motivated and engaged.
As always with changes to working arrangements, employers will need to review their contracts of employment and handbook policies to ensure that they reflect the new way of working. Many employers are also drafting new working from home or hybrid working policies to provide some boundaries and structure to the working arrangements. Such policies need to consider how much time employees are expected to be in the office, including ad hoc arrangements such as appraisals and training. Employers will also need to consider the provision of equipment and health and safety checks for those working from home on a more permanent basis. It is also important to encourage employees to take proper breaks whilst they are at home and have a system in place to ensure that they are appropriately supervised. In addition, employers should revisit their data protection and IT policies and consider what form of employee monitoring they may need to put in place.
If you are considering how to operate your business once the Government restrictions ease, please get in touch so we can consider the policies and other protections you should have in place before doing so.