The pandemic has turned the way we work on it’s head for many businesses and organisations. The enforced trial of homeworking during lockdown has demonstrated that it can work and is in fact working better than anyone could have ever imagined. So, are the days of 9-5 in the office, 5 days a week, a thing of the past?

In our first blog we’re focusing on the pros and cons of hybrid working and some practical considerations for managing hybrid working.

Many businesses are reviewing the options available, which broadly include:

  • Permanent office-based working – returning your whole team to the office to work their normal working days and hours, once restrictions are lifted.
  • Permanent home working – some businesses found they have no need for an office now as they can work effectively from home.
  • Hybrid working – a mix of time at home and time in the office. You may adopt a ‘prescriptive’ model stipulating the number of days in the office. Or you may leave it to managers’ discretion depending on operational circumstances, or employees’ discretion of what suites them.

So, why might you consider hybrid working? Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased productivity – a quieter environment with less interruptions.
  • Increase employee retention, engagement, motivation – offering more flexibility and trust strengthens loyalty and motivation.
  • Health & well-being – eliminating the stress of the commute also provides extra time for health benefits such as exercise, preparing healthy meals and relaxing with family
  • Cost savings – potentially less office space and utility costs
  • Less time off work – either for sickness or holidays – working more flexibly allows people the opportunity to take time when they need it.
  • Recruitment – attract a bigger talent pool from a wider geographic location.

As with everything, there is always going to be some downsides to consider. These are some examples:

  • It doesn’t suit everyone
  • It doesn’t suit all jobs
  • Difficulty monitoring performance
  • Isolation – feeling disconnected from colleagues and the business
  • Negative impact on mental health – lines between work and home life can blur
  • Information security

Managing hybrid working

The key to success is good quality management. Your management team will need to be equipped with the skills to manage performance effectively. Even experienced line managers may need a bit of a refresher. Some things to consider are:

  • Clear expectations – job descriptions, individual KPIs and development plans
  • Regular reviews and conversations – monitor productivity and wellbeing
  • Have any difficult conversations quickly
  • Encourage team participation – team meetings, social catch-ups and team building events

In our second blog we’ll be focusing on implementing hybrid working, including what to include in a hybrid working policy, reviewing other policies, contractual changes and legal risks.

How Hallidays HR can help

If you would like expert advice and support to help you consider, implement and manage hybrid working please contact Hallidays HR to learn more.