The power of remote working has undoubtedly been proven through Covid lockdowns and isolation periods but what does the new model of working look like for your business and how do you manage a workforce who wants a mix of face-to-face time and remote working?
The way we think about work has changed over the past few years with many of us looking to work remotely or with some of the time at home and some of the time in the office. The shift to hybrid working escalated after the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw anybody who could work from home being forced to work from home, and take care of all their household responsibilities of caring for children and homeschooling at the same time.
There will be few of us who want to return to that level of “working from home” but the benefit has been that many employers and employees have seen the gains in productivity and mental wellbeing that have resulted from having more time at home.
Hybrid working works primarily in office-based environments. Jobs that require a great deal of face-to-face interaction with customers or colleagues and industries like construction trades, tourism, hospitality and services such as hairdressing, cleaning and maintenance aren’t really possible away from the work-site.
Hybrid working requires a great deal of trust from both the employer and the employee along with an agreement on:
- How work will be delivered
- How and when the hybrid worker will be in the office
- How and when employees will be contactable on their days off site
- Making sure your team knows what is expected of them and what they can expect from you.
From a financial point of view the cost of setting up a home office for your employees is something that needs to be agreed between you and your staff and will depend on the individual needs.
As an employer you’ll need to ensure that:
- Staff can work safely and comfortably at home
- Company or personal information is stored as securely as it would be in your office environment
- The cost of setting up a home office is agreed between you and your staff to meet individuals needs.
Every office manages hybrid working differently, some have rolling days at home and others choose to mark day(s) as ‘work from home days’ to protect the office dynamic. Whatever model you choose, establishing the boundaries and getting the right set-up for you and your staff means that hybrid working really could offer the best of both worlds.
Having the flexibility of working from home reduces the time spent commuting and often means that other activities can easily be accommodated around work, such as fitting in the school pick-ups or more exercise during times that would have previously been spent commuting. From a work perspective workers and managers often talk about higher levels of productivity, as they can achieve more from home due to fewer distractions.
Previously seen as a ‘perk’ that is earned by a few, working from home has become a mainstream way in which many businesses run; the shift forced upon us by Covid-19 has given everyone a new perspective on just what is possible!