During the coronavirus pandemic, in line with Government guidance, many employees have worked entirely or mostly from home. Many employees have welcomed this change to their working life and a number of employers, including some well known companies, now consider the best approach moving forward will be a hybrid working approach.
Hybrid working is where staff work from home or remotely elsewhere for part of their working time and attend the workplace for part of their working time.
Is hybrid working suitable for everyone?
Hybrid working will not be suitable for all employers and employees.
Those employers who have office based staff are likely to find it easier to offer their staff the option of hybrid working rather than a manufacturer type employer who will require staff on site to carry out their work. Some employers may be concerned that they can offer hybrid working to some employees and not others.
Should we offer hybrid working?
There are a number of advantages of hybrid working for an employer including saving on rental costs (if downsizing office space), easier to deal with social distancing as there will be less staff working in the office and you may have a happier workforce as employees are likely to have a better work/life balance. However, there are of course some disadvantages including it may be harder for you to train new and junior staff remotely, you may consider you have reduced control of employees and it may be more difficult to manage employees.
Before implementing a hybrid working policy, an employer should consider a number of points including:
- The views of staff;
- What roles are suitable for hybrid working and what roles are not;
- Is the policy going to be temporary or permanent;
- Duties in respect of health and safety which will extend to an employee’s home in a hybrid working situation; and
- Confidentiality and data protection when staff are working from home;
We have decided to offer hybrid working, what should we do now?
Implementing hybrid working is likely to mean changes will be required to your employees’ contracts of employment. A hybrid working policy should be issued and staff will require training in respect of the new policy. Other policies may also need to be updated as a result of the new hybrid working policy.
How can we help?
If you are considering offering hybrid working and require advice in respect of this new approach including drafting a hybrid working policy, reviewing other policies or amending contracts of employments, please contact our Employment Law solicitors today.