New employer guidance on hybrid working

Dec 15 | 2021

Members of the UK’s Flexible Working Taskforce have published new practical guidance to help employers develop fair and sustainable hybrid working practices.

The guidance is designed to help employers harness the benefits of well managed hybrid working practices which can help organisations attract and retain staff while supporting employee wellbeing, inclusion and performance. 

It offers practical advice, focussing on the key areas of people management, recruitment and induction, inclusion and fairness, and health, safety and wellbeing.  

Employers are encouraged to consider:  

  • Providing training to people managers on how to manage hybrid teams effectively and support hybrid workers, including performance management, remote communication, collaboration and relationship building.  
  • Reviewing HR processes and procedures across the whole employee lifecycle to ensure they support hybrid working in practice, while also enabling inclusion and wellbeing.  
  • Engaging with and listening to employees, managers, trade unions and other employee representatives to understand the early lessons of hybrid working and ensure it is being applied fairly and delivering anticipated benefits to individuals and the organisation.  
  • Keeping any hybrid working policies and principles under ongoing review, including the impact on workers with protected characteristics, and ensuring that action is taken to address any negative or unintended outcomes of hybrid work. 
  • Recognising that hybrid working is just one form of flexible working, and that time flexibility and flexibility in working schedules can also benefit people, and in particular for those who have to be in a place of work to fulfil their jobs. 

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and Co-chair of the Flexible Working Taskforce, said: “The pandemic gave us a unique opportunity to rethink the world of work and consider new ways of working that will benefit both organisations and our people. Many employers are considering how to implement hybrid working and this new guidance provides practical tips on how to do this successfully.”

“We know there is great appetite from employees to have more say over where and how they work and organisations that provide fair and inclusive hybrid working practices will reap the benefits by attracting and retaining talent and increased wellbeing and engagement which in turn can drive productivity.” 

Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), added: “The pandemic was a classic case of necessity breeding invention. Hybrid working has become a reality for many in the workforce for the first time and unsurprisingly many want it to stay. CMI’s own research highlighted the very real appetite amongst the UK workforce for a more flexible approach to how they work, but implementing new policies and getting the balance right is often a challenge for managers.”

“For many managers, introducing hybrid working is uncharted territory. This new employer guidance will be a huge help to them in working out and implementing best-fit working practices. Getting it right will mean they have happier, more productive, more loyal teams - and a healthier business - as a result.” 

The new guidance is designed to supplement previous guidance from Acas (The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), also commissioned on behalf of the Taskforce. It is available to view here.