Job adverts are increasingly offering hybrid working patterns, with roles now blending the benefits of working from home and in the office.
A study from Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) in July revealed more than half of employees (55%) expected an increase in requests for staff to work from the office for part of the week and remotely for the rest. In addition, ONS (Office for National Statistics) also found that 85% of people working from home wanted to use a hybrid approach in the future.
All systems go
Do you have the processes in place to allow everyone to work seamlessly regardless of location? Microsoft Teams or Zoom, digital document management systems and VPN drives and folders can all help your workers hit the ground running and work collaboratively.
Keep your people in the loop
If you’ve got employees working from home, while others are in the office, you may want to think about creating a team calendar. That way, everyone knows who will be where on which days, so they can schedule any meetings and jobs to fit around everybody’s diary.
Set clear expectations
What are your business goals and how do you expect your people to help you achieve this? Set clear expectations with your team, so everyone knows what their responsibilities are. This will allow them to feel valued, show them where they fit into your company and how their work is making an impact. It also allows them to create an action plan and schedule their weeks, whether they’re in the office or working remotely, so they can complete their tasks.
Make everyone feel included
Be wary of segregation between on-site and remote workers, you don’t want people to feel like there is an ‘us’ and ‘them’ culture. Make sure there are clear lines of communication between everyone in your company, regardless of where they are working.
If you offer office perks, such as Friday treats, you may want to think about sending a little something to your home workers as well, so they don’t feel left out.
Gone are the rigid nine to five days. If your people are working more flexibly, some employees may want to start earlier because of family or other commitments in the evenings, while others may be better suited to starting and finishing later.
You could look at creating core hours, communicating to your workers that you expect them to be working during this time, whether that is remotely or in your business premises. The rest of their hours can then be split across the week in a schedule that is agreed with their line manager.
Flexible working could become the default
The Government is proposing to give everyone the right to request flexible working on their first day at a new job. In its consultation ‘Making Flexible Working the Default’, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy sets out five proposals for flexible working:
- Making the right to request flexible working a day one right
- Whether the eight business reasons for refusing a request all remain valid
- The administrative process underpinning the right to request flexible working
- Requiring the employer to suggest alternatives
- Requesting a temporary arrangement
The consultation ends on 1st December. If the proposals are given the green light, businesses will have to respond to requests quicker than the current three-month limit. They’ll also need to have robust evidence as to why any applications are refused.
Flexible working can include, but is not limited to:
- Remote or hybrid working
- Part-time working
- Job sharing
- Compressed hours
- Staggered hours
- Phased retirement
Protect your digital assets
While VPNs can protect your data and secure your people’s networks, they’re not completely immune to cyber hacks. It can take just one phishing email to ground your business to a halt; Cyber Insurance can be there to help you get back on your feet if you’re a victim of cybercrime.
To discuss your unique Business Insurance needs, get in touch with Edwards Insurance Brokers friendly team on 01564 730 900, who will be happy to help.