Hybrid working: What you need to know
Love working from home, but not sure you want to do it full-time? Hybrid working could be for you…
As we continue to find new ways of working as we move past the effects of the pandemic, many companies are offering their staff the option of hybrid working. This trend may be new to many of us, but could be the perfect option for a number of different situations.
Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about hybrid working:
What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working is a flexible way of working, where you have the option of working from the office, from home or public spaces, such as coworking offices, libraries etc.
Hybrid working can be structured in numerous ways (you should have a discussion with your employer to decide what works best for both of you), including:
- Occasionally office based
- Set days in the office
- Office-based preferred, with remote working allowed
- Remote first with visits to the office when in-person meetups are needed
In the post-pandemic world, hybrid working is a trend that is here to stay as employees want a better work-life balance, and employers recognise that staff can be productive even outside of the office environment.
What are the best industries for hybrid working?
Hybrid working is suitable for many office-based jobs, as technology enables employees to remotely access emails and work files. Industries where hybrid working could be an option include:
Unfortunately, hybrid working isn’t an option for all jobs, like retail or trades, or other location-based jobs, such as nursing, care work or delivery jobs.
What are the benefits of hybrid working?
While working from home has its benefits, it isn’t for everyone. And not everyone relishes returning to the office full time, either. Hybrid working, therefore, offers a good balance. Some of the top benefits of hybrid working are:
Increased job satisfaction
Hybrid working can make employees feel they have more control over how they work. This sense of freedom is proven to positively impact workplace happiness. And, when you have job satisfaction, the quality of your work increases, and so does your output.
The majority of people choose to live within a reasonable commute of work. Traditionally, moving further away to be near friends or family, or to have a better quality of life, could mean having to find another job. Hybrid working gives you increased flexibility on where you live. A slightly longer commute a couple of times a week could be more feasible than having to do it full-time.
While remote working cuts back on the commute and lessens the stress of getting to work on time, some people can find it lonely, particularly if they live on their own. Over time, increased loneliness could lead to depression. Hybrid working, however structured, enables you to reconnect with colleagues you may not have seen for ages, form relationships with new colleagues and have in-person conversations – which is vital for maintaining mental wellbeing.
Commuting to and from work costs money. So, by working from the office maybe one or two days a week, you can save on the cost of your train fare, petrol or parking charges. Additionally, you’re likely to spend less on your morning coffee and lunches. And, as you’re in the office less, you don’t need as big of a collection of work gear.
Does my employer have to offer hybrid working?
During peak COVID-19 infections, the government guidance was to work from home (where possible). It’s difficult to say if this will be needed in the future, but as it stands, employers aren’t legally bound to offer you hybrid working.
If you want to move to a hybrid working approach, you may need to put your flexible working request in writing to your employer.
How to ask your employer for hybrid working
Any requests for hybrid working (also known as a flexible working request) must be made in writing either as a letter or email. Your request must contain:
- The date you submitted the request
- Details of the change you want to make
- The date you want the change to commence
- How you or your employer may handle any effects the change may have on the company or your work
- The date of any previous flexible working requests
It may help your request be approved if you can include:
- Benefits that the change to hybrid working could have to the business (e.g., cost-savings, able to take calls earlier or later in the day)
- Benefits to the people you work with (e.g. willing to work certain undesirable shifts)
Once your request has been submitted, your employer may ask you to attend a meeting to discuss it further. Make sure you’re prepared to explain why you’re requesting hybrid working and go armed with a list of business benefits of hybrid working.
Your employer will then review your request, and they must let you know of their decision within three months of the request being received.
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