A coalition of employer and union bodies - the Flexible Working Taskforce - has issued new guidance for organisations on how to implement and sustain hybrid working practices.
These are a form of flexible working whereby employees can split their working time between the workplace and home. Although the government has asked people in England to work from home if they can (as of the start of this week) and other nations of the UK have previously encouraged similar working, this is not going to be possible for everyone and hybrid working may offer a useful alternative.
The taskforce guidance offers practical advice, focusing on the key areas of people management, recruitment and induction and inclusion and fairness, as well as health, safety and wellbeing.
Employers are encouraged to do the following:
- Review HR processes and procedures to ensure they support hybrid working in practice, while also enabling inclusion and wellbeing
- Engage with and listen to employees, managers, trade unions and other employee representatives to understand the early lessons of hybrid working and ensure it is being applied fairly
- Keep any hybrid working policies and principles under ongoing review, including the impact on workers with protected characteristics, and ensure that action is taken to address any negative or unintended outcomes
- Recognise that hybrid working is just one form of flexible working and that time flexibility and flexibility in working schedules can also benefit people, in particular those who have to physically turn up to the workplace to do their job.
The guidance is designed to supplement information from ACAS, which also has advice on its website specifically aimed at employees.
The ACAS guidance suggests that anyone interested in starting to work on a hybrid basis should check with their manager to find out what, if any, policy the organisation has on the issue. It also explains how to go about making a request to work flexibly and what the employer should do in response to such a request. There is a recommendation for anyone in doubt to ask their workplace union rep for help.
To read the CIPD report, click here.
To read the ACAS advice, click here.