Acas has released a new survey which shows that 3 in 5 employers (60%) have seen an increase in hybrid working for staff in comparison to pre-pandemic times.
Hybrid working is a flexible approach to working where employees can work from home, remotely and also in the workplace.
Acas worked with YouGov to ask British businesses about changes to working practices that they have seen compared to before the pandemic. The poll also found that over half of employers (52%) have seen an increase in staff working from home full-time.
Similarly, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that ‘most people who took up homeworking because of the coronavirus pandemic plan to both work from home and in the workplace (“hybrid work”) in the future’.
Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, added: “Many businesses adapted to new ways of working during the pandemic and it’s unsurprising that most employers have seen an increase in home and hybrid working among their staff.
“There are clear benefits to these types of flexible working, such as helping businesses attract and retain staff. But there will be staff that are eager to get back to how they were working before COVID-19 and hybrid or home working may not be practical for everyone.
Hybrid working can help businesses attract and retain staff as well as increase staff productivity as flexibility allows them to balance work and personal responsibilities, according to Acas.
Will it last?
More than three-quarters (78%) of those who worked from home in some capacity said that being able to work from home gave them an improved work life balance in February 2022. Half reported it was quicker to complete work (52%) and that they had fewer distractions (53%). Almost half also reported improved well-being (47%).
Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD said: “The post-Covid future of work is still undecided. Now’s the time for employers to engage with their people and continue to refine and embed new ways of working that suit both the organisation and the workforce.”
Susan also mentioned that:
“Employers will need to ensure that staff who work remotely have access to the same opportunities as those that are physically in a workplace. Acas has advice on how to keep connected with staff that are hybrid or home working, consider whether it is suitable for their workplace or if other types of flexible working are better suited for some roles.”
Acas has the following main advice for employers:
- A company hybrid working policy should explain how someone can request it, how job roles will be assessed and how decisions will be made;
- Ensure staff who are working remotely are not excluded and have access to the same opportunities as those in the workplace;
- Decisions around whether to approve a staff request for hybrid working should be fair, transparent and other forms of flexible working could be discussed as possible alternatives;
- Make sure employees have the necessary equipment and information to work safely from home;
- Staff working from home may struggle with switching off from work or work longer hours – employers must follow the law on working hours and employees should make sure they take their rest breaks and take care of their mental health;
- Consider a trial period to see if it works and if any further adjustments to arrangements are needed.
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In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.
We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.