Our very own HR Advisor, Robyn Scott, talks about the hot topic of Hybrid Working following the Coronavirus Pandemic in this Blog Post and what Employers should consider when looking at the options to promote Hybrid Working in their workplace.
More than one year on from the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic and we are only just starting to see the return of some form of normality with the recent re-opening of the retail and hospitality sector. However, the advice from the UK government is to continue to work from home where possible and whilst this may remain the default position for the next few months, many employers are now starting to consider how their workplaces will look and are preparing for a return to the office.
Employees across many industries in the UK have been given an opportunity, under the difficult circumstances of the Coronavirus Pandemic, to try out the ‘work from home lifestyle’, and many people will be reluctant to go back to the normal 9am – 5pm in the workplace.
Many employers may have even witnessed some benefits to working from home for at least some of the time and may be considering the return-to-work options available to them and some of the longer-term benefits to adopting a more flexible approach going forward. For many companies, this may consist of implementing a more blended approach that creates a new hybrid way of working for their employees.
In a YouGov survey from September 2020, they revealed that 57% of British workers who were working from an office prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, would like to be able to continue working from home in the future. Therefore, it would certainly be beneficial for employers to consider the options when it comes to returning to working to the workplace.
There has been a significant interest in more flexible ways of working since the pandemic which has created an expectation that employees should be allowed to continue this in the future and an expectation that this option may be available for new employees also. As a result, and in order to maintain engagement with current employees and also to create an attractive incentive for new employees joining your company, an employer could consider the following hybrid working options:
- Workplace rotations, which consists of groups of individuals who work on a rotational basis for periods of time in both the office and working from home.
- Fully flexible approach, which would allow employees to decide for themselves whether they attend an office of fully work from home.
- A partly flexible approach where individuals work from the office on specific days and work from home for the remainder of their week, this would be agreed with between the employer and employee.
Whilst the Coronavirus pandemic has presented various challenges over the last year, many employers and employees have identified some key benefits to the new flexible way of working from home. These include employees feeling they have a better work-life balance when working from home and being able to focus on work without the distractions within an office. There is also the added advantage that employees are saving time and travel costs for their daily commute to work. Employers are also witnessing these advantages through having staff that are more satisfied with the flexibility in their role which makes them more motivated to succeed and engage with the company.
I would recommend that employers begin to explore the possible flexible and hybrid working approaches that could work well for your business and establish what plans can be made both in the short- and long-term return to work planning.