In an attempt to help you through this change, I’m going to share why I think it’s important to have some guidelines in place, what they should cover, and how to make sure people follow them.
What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working – for a company with an office, for instance – is where you have an agreement with all staff that they can work partly remotely or from home a few days a week, and partly from the office for the rest of the week.
Why hybrid working?
More and more businesses are turning to hybrid working models to provide employees with greater flexibility and autonomy. Hybrid working allows employees to choose the type of working environment best suited to their needs. This can provide a great boost to employee morale and satisfaction, as well as helping to reduce costs for businesses by eliminating the need for a traditional office space. With a comprehensive set of guidelines in place, businesses can make hybrid working a success and reap the rewards of a more flexible and cost-effective working environment.
Different ways of working (How hybrid or remote do you want to be?)
A combination of working remotely and in the office, allowing for greater flexibility and a balance between working from home and in the office.
Enables employees to work from home or another remote location, providing increased convenience and flexibility.
Allowing employees to choose their own working hours or patterns, providing them with increased autonomy and control over their work life balance.
Working less than 5 days or 40 hours per week.
Allowing 2 employees to share a role.
Compressed working weeks
Working a standard number of hours but compressed into 4 days, not 5.
Staggered working hours
Where employees choose their own start and finish times from a company-defined list of options.
Finding the right balance of office and remote working for your team
Every company needs different skills, roles and working practices depending on the nature of the services you provide. To find the right balance of office and remote working, look at the standard operating procedures of your business, the type of work being undertaken and the most effective way to complete it.
Here are some of the biggest considerations to help you find the right balance:
How many days in the office & how to decide when?
Many companies have decided that it’s essential for their employees to have a minimum of two days in the office each week, allowing them to maintain a personal connection and collaborate with their colleagues in person. This may not be suitable for your business, so consider all the alternatives.
Blocking time for lunch hour
The lunch hour is an essential part of the working day. Businesses who want happy, productive employees generally encourage their employees to use their lunch hour in a restorative manner, such as taking a walk, eating a nutritious meal, or engaging in a hobby. Multitasking during the lunch hour is discouraged, as is eating at your desk. It’s also important to set expectations for employees to be mindful of the need for other colleagues to take their lunch hour.
Sign on/off times & procedures
Many companies make their sign on/off times flexible, depending on what works best for the individual employee and the business. In this model, employees advise their managers of their preferred sign on/off times and any changes to these. These times are monitored to ensure employees are working their agreed hours and taking appropriate breaks.
Time off requests
Establish a policy for employees to request and track their time off. Make sure the policy provides a way to approve or deny requests, and a way to ensure the policy is followed. This will ensure that everyone is taking the necessary time off, without overlap.
Tools and technology
One of the most important aspects of creating hybrid and remote working guidelines is to ensure that employees have the necessary equipment and training to do their job effectively. This includes making sure that employees have access to the right tools and technology, such as:
- Instant messaging tools
- Video conferencing
- Time-tracking software
- Project management software
It’s also important to ensure that employees have an understanding of the company’s security protocols and any other policies they are required to abide by, such as data protection and confidentiality.
The key to creating successful hybrid and remote working guidelines
The key concern for any type of company wanting to establish a hybrid working agreement is to establish a culture of trust, collaboration, and clear communication, regardless of where team members are located.
Finally, it’s important to ensure that employees have access to the necessary resources and support. This could include access to mental health services, career development opportunities, and other resources that may be needed to feel supported, productive, and motivated.
Next step – write your hybrid or remote working guidelines document
Vodafone Business have created a template to get you started. Please bear in mind that it’s only a template for you to build upon, so feel free to edit, add and delete words and sections to suit the needs of your company.
Remember, you can also chat with Vodafone V-Hub’s friendly V-Hub Digital Advisers for 1-2-1 support around hybrid and remote working.