Should your business consider hybrid working on a permanent basis?
Posted on 3rd March 2022
It is an interesting topic these days. Just over two years ago, for many, working from home and hybrid working was not on the agenda.
But things have changed.
I recently put out a poll on LinkedIn to ask if my connections thought that hybrid working should be a more permanent solution these days and an astounding 70% said yes.
Restrictions have eased and we are now able to return to the office under relatively normal conditions, yet many are opting to stay at home.
And it is not just employees. Employers have seen the benefits of this new way working too. The reduction in costs being just one of them.
It has though, brought with it challenges for some employers. Many believe that it is better to be in the office and simply do not want to change the way they work on a more permanent basis. It is understandable and of course, their right but now employees have been given this option, many are fighting back.
I read recently that TikTok is an example of this push back. It is filled with mock videos of employees resigning from their roles because employers refuse to embrace this but jokes aside, it is a serious issue for some.
What is the reality? If you are working in an industry where it is feasible to embrace hybrid working, some may wonder, why not? However, it is not always as simple as it sounds.
What are the challenges?
➡️ Many businesses have long lease agreements on their offices; therefore, it is of no benefit to them to have their staff working from home. It would cost them more to set up this kind of arrangement than it would save so it is not an option.
➡️ Is it really fair? In many cases some roles (even in an office environment) simply cannot be done at home. Those staff members could potentially feel discriminated against if their colleagues are allowed to do so.
➡️ The cost and implications of insurance. Should you allow a vast number of employees to work from home or even on a hybrid basis, employers will have to have insurance in place for that situation.
➡️ Security is an issue. Especially if you work in an industry where you are managing personal or financial data. Is it secure enough to allow a member of staff in control of these details to work from home? What about the increased risk of cybercrime?
➡️ Health and safety. An employer still has the responsibility of an employee even when they are working from home.
So, in reality, it is not simply a case of deciding that it is ok for staff to work from home or a combination of both, there is a huge thought process behind that decision.
However, it could also be extremely beneficial.
We already know that in many instances, this set-up can work successfully.
Many employers have found that their team members are more productive and motivated because they no longer have the stress or costs of commuting and they have managed to balance home life successfully.
There is also the fact that if there is not a long lease in place, it could potentially save a business thousands of pounds to have their staff working from home. Even on a hybrid basis, an organised rota could ensure that there are only a certain number of staff members in the office at any given time, therefore reducing the need
What does hybrid working mean?
In simple terms, it means that a staff member will spend some of their time working from home and some of their time in the office. It also means that although they will be working remotely part-time, they will also have the opportunity to continue to engage with their colleagues on a regular basis.
In my opinion, if it is manageable, hybrid working could be the perfect solution for many businesses.
This is something business owners will have been considering for months but now is the time to bolt down your plans. Before making that final decision, speak to the experts, manage staff expectations clearly and weigh up the pros and cons. What you do not want to do is put it in place, only to have to back track later down the line.
Please do not hesitate to contact email@example.com if you would like to discuss the plan you would like to put in place. Taking HR from 'TO DO' to 'DONE'.
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