Research and reports
Hybrid working is popular with 85 per cent of people who worked from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
But what are the pros and cons of running your business this way and do you need a hybrid working policy?
The hybrid working meaning is when a company gives its employees the flexibility to split their time between working remotely and from the office. For most people, remote working means working from home, but it could also mean working out of a shared office space or local coffee shop.
Hybrid working isn’t just about where you work from, though. Some companies are implementing a hybrid model of working by:
At its best, hybrid working uses an agile methodology in which everyone is trusted to perform at their best no matter where or when they’re working. It should also encourage regular connections and meet-ups in the office to sustain a company’s culture.
Hybrid working is nothing new, but its growth has been sped up by the Covid-19 pandemic as people had to work from home due to government restrictions.
As we come out the other side of the pandemic, many people are reflecting on the way they work with an increased desire for flexibility and a better work/life balance.
In fact, more than half of all UK employees (57 per cent) are expected to work from home some of the time going forward, according to the ONS, which is more than double pre-pandemic levels.
Perfecting the hybrid model will be challenging for small businesses, from having the infrastructure to support remote working to making sure employees remain connected to each other.
Working from home isn’t a legal entitlement, so it’s entirely your decision as an employer if you want to allow remote working.
If you go down the hybrid route, you’re not legally required to provide staff with a hybrid working policy.
However, it’s definitely worth creating one. This is because it gives you the opportunity to set out rules and expectations, letting everyone know where they stand and reducing the likelihood of complaints or disciplinary action.
Some of the things a good hybrid working policy could include are:
If you’re going to allow your employees to work from home and encourage a hybrid working model, our customisable working from home policy template can help you get started.
Read our guide on working from home policies for further information.
Hybrid working is a polarising subject among business owners. Some are keen to give their employees flexibility, while others think it's more rewarding to have their workforce in the office as much as possible.
If you run a small business, we’ve outlined some of the main advantages and disadvantages of operating a hybrid working model.
If you’ve decided that you want to give your employees the option of working both from home and in the office, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Here are four steps that can help you to create a successful hybrid working environment:
Since 2020, there’s been an ongoing debate around whether companies should adopt a hybrid working model, go fully remote, or bring staff back to the office on a daily basis.
Here’s an overview of the varied approaches taken by some well-known businesses:
PwC – the accountancy firm announced in spring 2022 that its staff could take Friday afternoons off during the summer. The company says it’s trying to retain its best staff, while the decision caused an angry response from Lord Alan Sugar.
Klarna – the retail finance company announced a flexible working policy, allowing staff “greater choice, autonomy, and flexibility”. It used learnings from the last two years to make its decision to allow staff to choose where they work, but will still be encouraging in-person connections.
Stephenson Harwood – this London law firm has given its staff the option to work from home permanently if they accept a 20 per cent pay cut. Employees that want to keep full pay will have to visit the office at least three times a week.
Goldman Sachs – the CEO of the investment bank called remote working an ‘aberration’ in 2021 and the firm has since encouraged all its staff to return to the office full time.
Due to the rapid changes to working practices in the last few years, there’s been plenty of research into the impact of flexible working.
Here’s a selection of figures from various research reports, showing a mixed response to hybrid working:
The UK is leading the way when it comes to small and medium sized businesses using a hybrid business model, according to research by Boston Consulting Group. Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of employees working at SMEs said they work fully or partly remotely, the highest in the G7.
But where in the UK is remote working popular? Joint research by Zoom and Indeed has named Worthing in Sussex, Burnley in Lancashire, and Stoke in Staffordshire as the top three remote hiring hotpots in the UK.
Job adverts offering remote working in Worthing increased by 650 per cent between February 2020 and March 2022, rising by 391 per cent and 323 per cent in Burnley and Stoke respectively during the same period.
Employment contract template – customisable for your business
Is hybrid working here to stay? Let us know in the comments below.
Conor Shilling is a Copywriter at Simply Business with over two years’ experience in the insurance industry. A trained journalist, Conor has worked as a professional writer for 10 years. His previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor specialises in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.
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