Hybrid Working – How to Put it in Place

By Matthew Reymes Cole
26 Apr 2021
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As hybrid working continues to gather popularity, this article is the second in a series exploring the pros and cons, how to implement it, and options for the companies that can’t.

If you missed the first article on pros and cons, you can read it here.

Hybrid Working

The logistics

Most companies will likely be used to homeworking by now. That means the logistics, such as giving staff the equipment with which to do this, will be at least partly familiar. However, facilitating the equipment for staff to work from home, and the office, may be more complicated. If this is something you want to implement, you should plan for this change. You’ll want employees to smoothly transition from the office to home and back again with minimal issues.

For example, you could agree to the hybrid working arrangement subject to a trial period. This way, you have the option to discontinue it if you feel it isn’t sustainable.

Changing contractual terms

Be aware that the implementation of hybrid working will result in a change to the terms and conditions of staff. This means the employee will need to agree to the change. Some staff may seek to ask for this through a flexible working request. They can do this if they have worked for the company for at least 26 weeks and have not made a similar request in the last 12 months. Either way, this change will be considered a permanent one. That is, unless it’s clearly stated that there will be a trial period first, as mentioned above.

It should be clearly outlined how the arrangement is going to work. For example, will there be set days from home and in the office, or will it be decided in a similar way to shift patterns? You are free to try and structure this as you see fit but consider whether this will be accepted by employees.

If you seek to enforce this company-wide—proceed carefully. Some members of staff may not want the hybrid working option. To this end, it’s advisable to engage in conversations with the workforce before seeking to put this in place if possible. You might find that not all members of staff need to work under this arrangement.

Communication

As with usual homeworking arrangements, it’s important that regular contact is still maintained with staff. This could be done through virtual meetings, by the use of software solutions such as Microsoft Teams or Skype.

Remind staff of the behaviours expected of them at home. This includes health & safety requirements, conduct policies, and the consequences for breaching these. Schedule face-to-face meetings and training when the employee is in the office.

Expert support with hybrid working

In all, the introduction of hybrid working comes with various challenges, but it is something that many organisations may increasingly be looking to introduce. With the right measures in place, there is no reason your business won’t be successful in making the transition.

If you need support implementing your hybrid model, or need advice on any of the issues raised in this article, speak to an expert today on 01455 858 132.

As to how to implement a hybrid working pattern—we’ll explore this in the next article. If you can’t wait until then, contact us now.

About the Author

Matthew Reymes-Cole

Matt joined Croner in 2007 as an employment law consultant and has advised clients of all sizes on all aspects of employment law. He has worked within management positions since 2017 and currently overseas a team within the litigation department, whilst continuing to support a number of clients directly.

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