Remote working has become popular due to Covid-19; a lot of employees are working from home but now that restrictions are easing, hybrid working will gain popularity. Hybrid working is where employees are allowed to split their time and work remotely occasionally as well as working in the office. This creates a hybrid work office where there is greater flexibility in the workspace. This creates many advantages but also disadvantages as well. A good hybrid working policy can help mitigate many disadvantages.
Writing a hybrid working policy consists of setting the ground rules for employees that are going to be working in this type of way. A team from multiple departments should work together to create this policy. When writing the policy the team should keep it as fair as possible, and relate it to roles in the company, rather than specific groups or individuals. The policy should go over what hybrid working entails and how the goal of the company will be achieved using this new method.
The first step in writing a hybrid working policy is to outline the concept of hybrid working. Employers should explain hybrid working in their own terms and how it is related to the company. It is a blended form of work and allows employees to split their time between the office and working remotely; therefore both of these entities should be explained in detail. Describing the benefits of hybrid working and how more can be achieved with this new system is a positive way to start the change.
The second part in the hybrid working policy is to establish who is eligible to work as a hybrid employee. This is the section that will receive the most backlash from employees, typically from those who will not be able to work remotely. Making it clear why certain roles are suitable for hybrid working will eliminate much confusion, but not all. Make sure there is a system for receiving feedback about this policy and keep the conversation open to employees that are not yet eligible for hybrid remote work. The key is to monitor the performance of your employees and only start allowing them to work remotely when you think they are ready.
Third, begin creating the standards for working as a hybrid employee. This outlines the actual details of working remotely. This policy explains how many days/hours employees are required to be in the office and how many days/hours are spent remotely working.
This is one of the most difficult parts of the entire hybrid working policy and it should be built with a certain degree of flexibility, as this is a new style for everyone. The remote working ratio should depend on individual circumstances and the individuals given job title. This section can include days that everyone is needed in the office, for important meetings or training, or it can describe how important events will take place remotely.
The next section will be about the in-office days and what they will look like. Explain the working patterns (who works when) and rigid hours v.s. flexible hours. Explain the workplace arrangements, such as desks, and anything needed to understand how the office will run. This is purely logistical details but the more thought-out this section is, the easier the transition will be.
The fifth section will be dedicated towards remote working and what is expected when working remotely. This can include how to deal with sick time remotely, the technology required, work-life balance, and computer security. This is the section that should outline what can be done for those that do not have the financial needs to work remotely.
The last section should be about those able to request flexible working. Individuals are likely to be upset if they are not able to work remotely. Thankfully companies can initiate other flexible work programs or benefits in order to keep morale up throughout the entire company. There should also be a program in place that allows employees to vocalize their concerns and request hybrid working, if they have worthwhile reasons.
Writing the hybrid working policy should be a team affair and should not fall on a singular person. It may take weeks to finalize this policy, but taking the time to make sure all the resources are in place is key to making hybrid working a successful affair. Having a good policy in place will ensure that all your employees can maximise their productivity and communicate with each other effectively.