Tags – Flexible and Hybrid Work Policies
Although we’re being urged by Rishi Sunak and others to begin thinking about returning back to work, many organisations believe working remotely actually brings higher levels of productivity.
Some employees may want a flexible working pattern.
Whereby, they adapt their working hours or change days worked in the week, regardless of whether in the office or not.
Others though, prefer a more hybrid approach to separate their time working time between the office and home
However, with any change, comes new processes and that means businesses must have the relevant ‘work from home’ policies in place.
So, if your organisation wants to continue working remotely, here are 3 things to consider:
1. Business Insurance
It’s important to ensure your business has the necessary policies in place with the correct insurance liabilities.
For instance, flexible and hybrid working patterns require employees to take equipment home.
For this reason, it’s important to check if your business contents insurance extends to use of equipment beyond its normal premises.
Usually, your business insurance will cover you when not in your regular locations, as long as you’re in the UK.
If not, you’ll need to extend this as you can’t rely on your employees’ home insurance to include business use.
2. Keep Records
The last year has taught us a valuable lesson – be prepared for any circumstances.
Therefore, it’s vital to keep a record of everything you have done, including dates.
For example, if in the off chance an employee argues they weren’t set up properly to work from home, you can prove you did everything by the book.
In addition, working policies need to be accessible to all employees.
Doing so will ensure everyone is clear on what is expected.
Areas to include:
- How performance will be measured and managed
- How often meetings will be held
- Confidentiality, such as data protection and IT security
- Contact details such as managers, team leaders, IT support etc.
3. Contracts of Employment
Regardless of whether you enforce flexible or hybrid working patterns, it’s important that discussions are held with all staff affected.
Because, any changes agreed will constitute a permanent change to employees’ contract of employment.
As such, if an employee will be predominantly working from home, it should be written as the normal place of work in their contact.
However, you can include a provision that states the employee may be required to attend the office where necessary.
Furthermore, you should include what happens if the employee moves house, i.e. financial implications
Other examples of policies include:
- House of work; are there certain “core hours”?
- Salary and benefits; ensure fair access to benefits such as using the canteen or gym, even though they may not be used as regularly.
- Expenses; such as contributions towards household bills, stationary and printing costs etc.
Even though remote working offers a wide range of benefits, we must consider the appropriate policies to put in place to avoid disruption later on.
Out of sight does not mean out of mind.
And so, adapting existing policies should include a clear message of what is expected from employees who work from home.