Hybrid Working – Benefits & Drawbacks

By Amanda Beattie
19 Apr 2021

Hybrid working continues to gather popularity. This article will be the first in a series exploring the pros and cons, how to implement it, and options for the companies that can’t.

Hybrid Working

What is hybrid working?

Hybrid working is where staff conduct a mixture of working from home and from the office. This isn’t a new concept. The option to work from home through flexible working existed prior to the pandemic. However, it is something that has become much more popular in recent times. Staff that have successfully worked from home during the last 12 months may want to continue doing so. They may even respond poorly to a full-time return to the workplace. Hybrid working could therefore be a compromise for this. This allows staff to work form home whilst maintaining a degree of office attendance.

Benefits of hybrid working

Guidance across Britain remains that staff should work from home if they can. However, organisations may be expecting some push back from employees when they are asked to return to the workplace. You may have already experienced this last year. As we emerge out of lockdown, employees may be increasingly thinking about their long-term career goals. Flexibility in their jobs could be a key aspect of this. Hybrid working could therefore be a solution to this issue.

The increased flexibility with hybrid working is likely to be well received by employees. It will help them to better work towards a work-life balance, something that is becoming increasingly popular with a modern-day workforce. This could be crucial in maintaining morale and staff retention. This is especially true if employees are still anxious about a full-time return to the workplace.

Remember, if you do not explore hybrid working options, your competitors may be willing to do so. This could deprive you of otherwise valuable members of staff.

Cons of hybrid working

Of course, hybrid working isn’t a perfect solution for all businesses. Some may see more drawbacks than others. For example, some roles may be difficult to undertake from home, even on a part-time basis. Managers will need to take this into account. There’s also the issue of staff feeling more isolated when working from home. Hybrid working may go towards mitigating this issue as opposed to full-time homeworking.

Staff may also be more difficult to manage remotely. Employees may see the days they aren’t in the office as days where they need to work less hard. To this end, it will be important for management to monitor staff in these situations. Be prepared to take further actions should there be issues in productivity, which we will explore in the next article.

Remember that not all staff may want to go down the hybrid working route. Some may feel very demotivated by a move to do so. Keep this in mind when making your decision.

Expert support with hybrid working

In all, the introduction of hybrid working comes with varied pros and cons, 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. However, for some workplaces, a hybrid model simply won’t work.

If you’re uncertain whether this will work for you, or need advice on any of the issues raised in this article, speak to an HR 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

Amanda Beattie

Amanda represents corporate clients and large public bodies, including complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Amanda also drafts and delivers bespoke training regarding all aspects of employment law, including ‘mock tribunal’ events; in addition she also frequently drafts employment law articles for various publications for Croner and their clients.