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Planning for Hybrid Working and Deciding Who Works from Home

The lifting of lockdown restrictions in the UK has meant many employers are now welcoming their staff back into the office. The pandemic, among other things, has shown that working from home can be effective for some business sectors – and is a popular choice for many employees. Here we look at things to consider when planning for Hybrid Working and deciding who works from home.

Latest research found that one in five employers will adopt a hybrid workplace within the next two years. As a result, some businesses will downsize their office space or introduce a hot desking system to accommodate a new way of working as employees split their time between home and office.

But when workplaces are only available part-time, issues can arise that perhaps weren’t there pre-pandemic such as checking desk space is available, deciding who gets to come in and when, ensuring everyone is treated equally and fairly; all of which could lead to conflict in the workplace if mis-managed without the correct processes and people management policies in place.

A blended workplace will not be suitable for every business, nor will every organisation operate a hybrid model in the same way. As in the words of Claire McCartney, senior resourcing and inclusion adviser at the CIPD, “there is no ‘one size fits all,’ when it comes to hybrid working” but if you are planning to make your hybrid workplace permanent, one question that we’re often asked by HR professionals is should employees pick the days they work from home?

A Mckinsey survey of 5,043 full-time employees world-wide found that people had various home-working preferences.

  • 17% would prefer zero days of remote work
  • 22% would prefer three days
  • 19% said they would prefer five days

Friday is the least likely day that hybrid workers will want to come into the office. Reports found that HR professionals are concerned that giving free rein over office days might inadvertently foster a culture of cliques – diluting diversity of ideas and leading to some employees feeling excluded.

To combat this, businesses could opt to create a mandatory office day to ensure crossover and collaboration between all teams – whilst still giving employees the flexibility to choose any additional days in the office.

Senior leaders should not automatically get to choose their schedules first, rather it should be a group decision to gauge how employees are feeling and to support work/life balance and any other commitments they may have outside of work.

To speak to a member of the hr inspire team today to discuss your return-to-work preparations, contact our expert HR team.

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