What should a hybrid working policy look like?
Earlier this year, we reported that, in a survey of 1,000 business owners, 45% of respondents planned to implement a hybrid working policy over the next 12 months.
But while most people know what the term ‘hybrid working’ means, few are aware of what it takes to introduce one into a remote or office-based team.
In fact, data from Indeed, the world’s largest job site, shows that year-on-year searches for the term ‘hybrid’ have increased by an astonishing 6,531% in the twelve months up to the end of April.
That makes it one of the fastest growing search terms on their UK website – and clearly a subject that people are curious about.
Below, we’ll go through five key areas to consider when designing an effective solution to hybrid working:
1. Current attitudes
At its heart, a hybrid working policy is all about flexibility. Yet, six months after COVID-19 restrictions were officially lifted in the UK, many managers have yet to review or update their hybrid model since the lockdown first began.
Your current workforce might be entirely against hybrid working. They might prefer coming into the office or being based entirely remotely.
That’s why it’s best to start implementing a hybrid working arrangement by first understanding their current attitudes.
Issue a survey to your staff members. Use this to gather information about your current model of working and what they might like to see change.
Still, we recommend you think about preparing a hybrid work policy regardless of the results.
Even if your results show your staff are against hybrid working, you might hire a new worker in three months time for whom it’s an absolute necessity.
2. Impact on inclusion
Digital inequality was another big topic uncovered during the pandemic. While reliance on technology developed, peoples’ personal technology budgets did not.
Those with slower broadband access or outdated hardware were not able to be as productive or perform as well as they would have liked, leading to an unequal playing field in terms of career development.
Offering home office equipment is a way to minimise this risk. Make sure you include the costs within your financial planning.
It’s also important to implement an induction process for hybrid workers. Keep them assimilated with company culture and values, and host remote events to ensure they can curate strong working relationships with other hybrid team members.
Our guide to how to keep remote employees engaged has more handy strategies to help shape your business’s hybrid policy.
3. Performance and management
Naturally, if your team is working remotely on certain days, you’ll find it more difficult to monitor their efficiency on tasks.
Instead of observing staff, managers will need to adjust to assessing performance through outcomes, contribution and value.
Making this change generates a number of questions. Chiefly, whether your managers have the right equipment to manage performance in this way.
Review your current mechanisms for performance evaluation. How regular are your catchup meetings? How might you address poor hybrid working?
Similarly, you’ll need to consider the impact on reward strategies. Recognition of outstanding work needs to be fair and not biased towards those spending more time in the office.
4. Contractual differences
Any formal policy change at a company has …….