A Checklist for Introducing Hybrid Working
Written by Leah Waller
Senior Employment Consultant Solicitor
Many things have changed since pre-pandemic, not least our working arrangements, and with this many businesses are moving to completely remote working or a hybrid approach.
So, we thought it may be helpful to run through just a few of the things that you may want to consider before introducing a flexible approach to hybrid working. Below are some of the considerations that you may want to have a think about, and discuss with your Managers and Staff before implementing anything to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible and causes as little upset and disruption to your staff, business and ultimately the productivity as is possible…
First things first, it is important to consider whether you will need to consult with your staff about the proposal and whether this will involve Trade Unions and Employee Representatives, Managers, specific departments or all staff.
Considerations in relation to a hybrid model of working may include; looking at whether the hybrid approach will be a permanent change or something that is temporary (perhaps even dependent on particular departments/roles/locations), looking at whether there will be a minimum requirement for days worked in the office or the company premises, and how this will be managed in terms of staff numbers and desk space.
Another consideration that you may want to think about, and is so easily overlooked when working from home, is dealing with sickness absence. We all know those members of staff that power through when they really shouldn’t and when working from home, this is even more likely – how will you manage this? What will the sickness reporting policy be and will your current policy require updating?
There may also be some more practical considerations that you need to have a think about, such as what equipment will be provided for staff when working from home, whether health and safety assessments will need to be carried out for home workstations, how IT systems will be accessed and whether your current system is adequate to support the business needs. Importantly, you will need to think about how you will ensure the confidentiality of any information being used (and possibly stored) by staff outside of the business premises as well as adherence to Data Protection Regulations.
It may be all very well changing to a hybrid model of working and may even be something that your staff welcome BUT will you need to amend their Contracts of Employment (or Statement of Terms? If so, will you do this by way of a letter varying their terms of employment or by issuing a new Contract?
On the flipside…how will you deal with the situation if the hybrid working model is not agreed and embraced by your staff? Do you have a procedure in place? Are you planning on enforcing the model in any event?