So you’ve decided you want to create a hybrid working model for your business, and now it’s time to hammer out a policy. But what do you include? This blog post will look at designing a hybrid working policy that tailors to your business needs and still gives your staff flexibility.
Why is a hybrid working policy important?
A hybrid working policy is vital for several reasons. Firstly, clarity and consistency. By clearly outlining policies and procedures, employees can better understand their roles and responsibilities whilst feeling more confident and comfortable with their work arrangements.
Secondly, and more importantly, from an acquisition and retention point of view, a hybrid working policy helps organisations attract and retain top talent by offering a more flexible and desirable work model. It can be particularly important for those who prioritise work-life balance and flexibility when choosing an employer.
Thirdly, a strong policy ensures business continuity during standard working practices and in the event of an unexpected event that may impact the ability to work from the office.
But what do you need to consider in creating your policy? Let’s take a look.
What to consider in your hybrid working policy
Before you can shape your policy document, you must understand what business goals you need to consider and how to approach them. We’ve looked at this and created a guide for you.
- Employee needs and preferences – Ask your employees what they think about hybrid working. You might find that their ideas aren’t that far from your own, or you might find out that to make your policy work, you need to strike a compromise. Kind Mind’s polling function allows you to capture your people’s preferences in a non-invasive and ultimately more honest way.
- Roles and tasks – Determine which roles and tasks are best suited for remote work and which are better done in the office.
- Communication and collaboration – Establish clear communication channels and protocols for both in-person and remote workers. What does that look like for your business?
- Work hours and availability – Define expectations for work hours and availability for both in-office and remote workers. Then work out how you will track this without crossing micromanagement lines.
- Workflows – Determine how your workflows need to change. It might mean integrating technology to automate transfers of work between people in a hybrid space, where they used to reach across a desk.
- Equipment and resources – Provide guidelines for how to set up a home office and ensure that remote workers have access to the same equipment and resources as in-office workers. Your IT and HR teams can help you with this.
- Security and privacy – Establish data security policies to protect confidential company and client information. Consider the use of secure networks and VPNs, as well as guidelines for the safe use of personal devices for work purposes. It will mean a more extensive discussion with your IT team.
- Performance management – Establish clear goals and metrics for employee performance, and consider how to measure and evaluate performance in a hybrid working environment. Establish policies for feedback and coaching, and consider how to recognise and reward performance.
- Legal and regulatory compliance – Compliance is critical. Ensure that your hybrid working policy complies with relevant laws and regulations regarding employee rights, data protection, and health and safety. It also needs to include taxation, so make sure to consult your accountant.
- Employee experience – Consider how hybrid working will affect your employee experience policy.
- Inclusion and accessibility – Define how and where employee inclusion and accessibility will be impacted by switching between different working environments. How can you provide extra support?
- Employee well-being – A happy and healthy workforce is more likely to drive better performance. To ensure this works for you, you need to consider your employees’ overall well-being and how hybrid working affects their mental health. If you need more help here, check out how our app Kind Mind can help you.
At this point, you should know what to think about when drafting a hybrid policy. Now let’s look at the documentation.
How to shape your policy document
A hybrid working policy should be a comprehensive document that outlines the expectations, guidelines, and procedures for both in-office and remote work arrangements. The specific details of your policy will vary from other businesses, but it should include the following:
- Eligibility and approval – Draft a clear definition of the roles and positions eligible for hybrid working and the request process.
- Work location and schedule: Clarity on work location and schedule expectations, including the number of days in the office and working remotely. It should also include whether you require employees to be in the office on certain days or for specific meetings.
- Trust and discipline – Whilst most employees will work from home with the same conviction, others might not. Define the level of trust and responsibility employees need to consider. Documenting this in your hybrid policy may mean redrafting your disciplinary protocol to account for hybrid activities.
- Communication and collaboration – Establish guidelines and expectations for communication and collaboration, including which tools and technologies should be used for different types of communication (e.g., email, chat, video conferencing) and how to maintain effective communication and collaboration across remote and in-office workers.
- Equipment and resources – Define the equipment and resources that will be provided to employees, including laptops, software, and other necessary tools. Establish policies for how employees can access and use these resources.
- Data security and privacy – Establish policies for data security and privacy to protect confidential company and client information, including guidelines for the safe use of personal devices for work purposes.
- Health and safety – Create an HSE definition to ensure the health and safety of employees, whether they are working in the office or remotely. It may include guidelines for ergonomic workstations, mental health resources, and guidance for addressing injuries or accidents that may occur while working from home.
- Performance management – Define clear goals and metrics for employee performance and establish a process for performance evaluation, rewards, feedback, and coaching.
- Legal and regulatory compliance – Provide guidance on how employees and management must comply with relevant laws and regulations related to employee rights, data protection, and health and safety.
- Training and support – Provide training and support to employees to ensure that they can effectively manage their work and maintain their productivity and engagement in a hybrid working environment.
A hybrid working policy should be clear, concise, and accessible to all employees. It should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that it remains relevant and effective in supporting your organisation’s goals and objectives.
How to implement your hybrid working policy effectively
Now that you know what your document looks like and your work with your team to create it, it’s time to implement. How you do this is critical because it’s all about the transition. And that’s what we will talk about next, “How to help your employees transition into hybrid work”.
Join us over there to take that next step together.