woman working from home

21st April 2024

What Policies Should You Create for Hybrid Working Models?

Ryan Kelly

Companies in the UK are increasingly adopting hybrid working models to accommodate the changing needs and preferences of their employees.

These businesses will find that operations and managing staff goes far more smoothly if they have a formal hybrid working policy in place.

Understanding Hybrid Working

Before delving into the policy details advice, it’s essential to clarify the distinctions between working from home, working remotely, and hybrid working models.

Full WFH – working from home typically implies complete remote work with limited or no in-office presence.

Remote working – generally allows employees to work from any location, whether it’s their home, a co-working space, or while traveling.

Hybrid working models – involves a combination of WFH and in-office work, potentially with some remote work allowed depending on the company.

So, why should a business even consider hybrid models or WFH models?

The Benefits of Working from Home

Working from home and hybrid options offer numerous advantages for both employees and employers.

  • Work-life balance: Improved work-life balance is the main benefit to employees. According to a study by the Office for National Statistics, 78% of those who worked from home reported an enhanced work-life balance. By eliminating commuting time and offering greater flexibility, employees can better manage their personal commitments and achieve a healthier integration of work and life.
  • Enhanced employee retention: Remote work provides employees with a sense of autonomy, reduced stress levels, and a better overall work experience. This, in turn, contributes to higher job satisfaction and employee retention rates.
  • Reduced commuting and environmental impact: Working from home eliminates the need for daily commutes, leading to cost and time savings for employees. Additionally, it contributes to a reduction in traffic congestion and carbon emissions, aligning with sustainability goals.
  • Increased productivity: Many studies have shown that remote workers tend to be more productive due to fewer distractions, quieter work environments, and the ability to structure their day to optimise their focus and efficiency.
  • Reduced office costs: Companies do not need as large offices and can save on bills when fewer people are in the office all the time.

While WFH home and hybrid working have proven benefits for both businesses and their employees, it is true that the pandemic was the largest driving force in increasing WFH practices. Now that the pandemic is over, does hybrid working still have a bright future?

hand holding scales where work and life are balanced

The Cultural Shift: From Remote Work to Hybrid Work

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly accelerated the adoption of remote work and hybrid working models. As organisations adapted to remote operations, a cultural shift occurred, and now a substantial number of workers expect a hybrid work model.

In fact, according to the Office Of National Statistics, 85% of working adults want a hybrid working environment in the future of their career.

A BBC article revealed that just 13% of staff were going into the office on the UK’s most popular remote working day AKA Fridays.

97% of workers would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers.

Lack of flexible working hours or location was cited as a reason for quitting a job by 21% of respondents in a global survey by Microsoft Research.

From these statistics, we can see that the appetite for hybrid working is here. It is very likely that it is here to stay.

But why do you need formal policies in place for your hybrid working model?

Why You Need A Formal Hybrid Working Policy

Establishing a well-defined hybrid working policy is crucial for several reasons:

  • It helps businesses ensure legal compliance
  • Provides clarity to staff regarding their roles and responsibilities
  • Aids HR in effectively managing employees
  • Promotes a positive work culture

venn diagram with onsite work on one side, off site work on the other, and hybrid work in the middle

What Should You Include in Your Hybrid Working Policy?

  • Clearly define “hybrid working”This could mean different things in various companies. It might apply to all or some staff and what time amounts it covers. Nothing should be vague when it comes to your rights as an employer and the workers’ rights, so be sure your interpretation of hybrid working is crystal clear and understood in a formal policy. Provide a comprehensive explanation of what hybrid working means within your organisation. Address questions regarding office attendance requirements and flexibility in determining work location.
  • Specify eligible rolesClarify which positions are eligible for hybrid working arrangements and any exceptions or considerations based on job requirements or departmental decisions.
  • Determine permissible work locationsDefine where employees can work, including their primary residence, secondary homes, shared spaces, or public venues. Address security and confidentiality concerns associated with remote work locations. Not all companies and industries will be able to allow totally remote work from any location since weak networks could present a cyber security issue. Research and decide the best approach for your sector, put the right security measures in place, and be clear about where staff can work.
  • Flexibility clausesInclude provisions for adjusting hybrid working arrangements if necessary, allowing managers to request on-site attendance when business needs require it. Allowing flexibility and change for circumstances like childcare and medical conditions will also help your workers have a better life.
  • Equipment and InsuranceBusinesses need to provide the right equipment, including IT equipment for hybrid staff. It is important to specify in your hybrid work policy what equipment staff will receive, where it can be used and how it can be used. You also need to get the right kind of insurance for the devices. Luckily, Devices For Teams can help you to lease IT devices for hybrid staff, configure them to the staff member’s role and profile, ready-to-go-out-of-the-box and deploy it straight to their home. Devices For Teams can also set your business up with Shepherd MDM so your managers can control how workers are able to use devices and company data and which programmes they can access. Additional Devices For Teams SafeGuard is ideal even for hybrid workers’ devices. If you are using an MDM like Shepherd and SafeGuard insurance, you can mention them in your hybrid work policy, so staff better understand them.
  • Employer contact and availabilityDefine expectations regarding employee-manager communication and availability while working remotely. Specify core working hours or response time requirements to maintain effective collaboration.
  • Holiday and collection of equipmentEstablish guidelines for securing work equipment and data during employee vacations. Clearly outline protocols for collecting work equipment and the handling of confidential information upon termination or transfer.

Once you have a clear formal policy for hybrid working, ensure that new hires read it as part of their onboarding.

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