Hybrid working has become a significant part of our lives in recent years.
According to research by The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), before the pandemic 65% of employers did not offer flexible working, or offered it to less than 10% of their workforce. This is expected to drop to 37% of employers as more and more UK employees desire a flexible approach to working hours and location.
If hybrid working is something you would like to offer your employees, here are four practical steps to successfully integrating it into your business practices.
Working with colleagues who are based in different places might require a bit of a technology upgrade to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently.
Your systems will need to:
Additionally, consider any hardware or equipment that could be useful for helping your employees to feel supported and able to do their jobs wherever they are working from, such as office chairs and laptop risers.
Communication is one of the most crucial parts of implementing any new strategy or project, and hybrid working is no different.
This is especially true for managers in your organisation. Supervising a remote team can be very different from supervising employees in an office environment. It is much harder to cultivate and maintain your company culture, and to notice if anyone is struggling or requires additional help.
Offering training and support to managers to help them communicate effectively with their team will be vital for ensuring the success of your hybrid working model. By helping your managers to keep their team members feeling engaged, heard, and appreciated, you can overcome a lot of the hurdles typically associated with hybrid working.
Remember that communication must go both ways, so ask for feedback regularly from all levels of the organisation about the changes you are making. One-to-one catchups, co-working, and mentoring are all part of keeping your team connected and supported during and after the transition.
Having clear expectations is an important part of providing your employees with stability and support. When you initiate the move to hybrid working, the first thing to do is to decide upon some policies that you expect your employees to follow.
Think about whether you expect employees to be in the office a certain number of days each week, or maybe there are certain tasks or meetings that require office attendance.
In addition, it could be helpful to review your processes and procedures for performance monitoring. This can be tricky when employees are not always in the office, so being clear about performance indicators will help to keep everyone on the same page.
How will you recognise and reward improved performance, and what measures will you take to help address declines in performance? It’s important that you don’t measure the performance of employees by time spent in the office (home or otherwise) or in meetings, but by outcomes that relate to your company objectives.
As mentioned in the previous point, communicating these expectations clearly is very important. Make sure your employees have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and give feedback about their experience of the new model so that you can iron out challenges quickly and efficiently.
When you introduce new ways of working to your business, it can impact the types of protection you need. Here are three areas that you might need to revisit in order to keep your business protected from the risks associated with the new processes.
1. Portable equipment insurance
If your employees are required to transport their laptops to and from the office, the equipment they’re using will be at much greater risk of being lost, damaged, or stolen than it was when it stayed in the office 24/7. Taking out portable equipment insurance will give peace of mind to you and your employee in case anything were to happen to these items.
2. Cyber liability
Cyber threats are now more prevalent than ever as more and more businesses move their systems online.
With employees accessing those systems from their homes, it’s easier for criminals to target your databases. To keep your business safe, it’s important to support your employees in keeping software up to date. In addition, cyber liability insurance will cover you if the worst does happen.
3. Contents insurance
New working models won’t just mean that you need to increase your protection. In some areas, you may be able to reduce your cover. For example, your contents insurance might now be unsuitable if employees are keeping fewer pieces of equipment in the office. Make sure you check over your policy to see what is included or excluded and speak to an insurance broker to update the details. You may need to take out a new policy to reflect your new circumstances.
If you’d like to make sure you have the correct cover in place for your business as you move over to a hybrid working model, we can help. Email email@example.com or use our contact form to request a callback from our team.