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Defining a Hybrid/Flexible Working Policy For Your Workplace

9th Jun 2023

The economy may have recovered much of what it lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, but there are some areas of the business world which have likely changed forever. Once of those is employees’ attitudes to the workplace, with more workers than ever seeking flexible and hybrid working opportunities which allow them to nurture a better work-life balance. But what does this look like for employers, and how do you go about defining a policy which supports your business goals as well as your employees, without impacting operations and productivity?

Here at HW People, we believe that increasingly important areas of business like flexible working policies should be designed and created directly by stakeholders and senior leaders. What’s more, we recognise that flexible working is as much an opportunity for businesses as it is a sticking point – inspiring motivation as well as enhanced recruitment and retention.

As experts in recruitment, we know that flexible and hybrid working opportunities attract candidates, but retention is about more than simply promising something on a job advertisement.

Here’s your guide to making a flexible working policy work for your workplace or business.


What employees think about hybrid working

Studies have found that employees who are offered flexible working arrangements in their current workplace likely to be more satisfied, and thus more willing to stay, than those who still have to go into the office 5 days per week.

This latter approach to office working feels almost outdated amid the rise in flexible working across many industries and sectors – however, one thing worth noting from an employer and employee perspective is that office working remains the norm across many contracts. This is because more often than not, flexible working remains an informal agreement discussed directly between an employer and an individual who works for them.

So, what does this mean for your flexible and hybrid working policy?

With so many businesses and companies offering flexible working as part of an informal agreement rather than a pre-agreed and contracted policy, the examples to work from are few and far between.

Keep reading for our take on how to construct a policy which will work for both you and your employees – heralding the benefits of enhanced freedom while ensuring that boundaries remain in place regardless of working location.

The benefits of flexible working as an employer

Before we get into the complexity of flexible working policies from a contractual point of view, what exactly are the benefits for employers?

This is where recruitment bridges retention, and where the boundaries of productivity become blurred by accessibility and satisfaction. The truth is that while flexible working contributes towards employee satisfaction and motivation, challenges surrounding access to resources, tools, and workplace facilities can render flexible working more difficult for some businesses and sectors than others.

In addition, while a flexible working ‘promise’ on a job advert can help to attract prospective candidates, bringing it to life for a new employee while also introducing them to the company and to their colleagues can be difficult and can have a negative impact on their retention and loyalty to the business.

Getting it right is key. And for many employers, that means building a policy which cites the potential for flexible and hybrid working, while also working on a case-by-case basis to determine need and resource accessibility across different roles and employee responsibilities. Some ways of approaching this include rolling hybrid working out across all teams within your business with a broad induction to the process, as well as exploring the potential for set ‘working from home’ days across different units of the business. The latter is particularly beneficial in establishing expectations with regards to when team members will be on site vs. when they have the flexibility to work elsewhere – with team leaders and managers needing to consider this policy when scheduling team meetings and one-to-one catch ups.

There is no doubt that building a flexible working policy into your business comes with its challenges and can become more complex across different touchpoints – however, the benefits far outweigh the cons when it comes to recruitment, retention, productivity, and loyalty.

Where to start when building a flexible working policy

Flexible working arrangements vary between industries and sectors, with an increasing unmet demand for different iterations of flexible working among employees at all levels. While some favour the rise in interest of the four-day work week, others want the benefit of being able to work from home on a regular basis, while others seek a balance between logging in for core working hours and being able to structure the rest of their day around their lifestyle.

In order to build a cohesive flexible working policy, you need to identify the demand among workers and understand what they want out of a flexible working policy. It is crucial that any policy you integrate into your business is fair, which means making the necessary adjustments for those in different teams who may find it difficult to work remotely without access to office systems and tools. If working remotely or adopting more of a hybrid approach to the workplace is not possible for all employees, measures need to be taken to address the balance and ensure that any policy offers fair opportunities for flexible working for all. This could mean increasing the provision of technology for home working, by funding additional computers, screens, and laptops for hybrid workers. Alternatively, it could mean exploring other forms of flexible working to support all workers, for example empowering those who require office resources to take back control over the hours they work, making sure they are in the office for core working hours but otherwise giving them the flexibility of working under their own schedule.

Finally, it is important that flexible working be cited and used as a benefit of your organisation or business, which can help to bolster both recruitment and retention across the board. Regardless of the position you’re hiring for, flexible and hybrid working opportunities are among the most competitive benefits across the job market today – boosting productivity for your business and also empowering your team to become more diverse and spread across a wider geographical area owing to the ability to work remotely.

The benefit of working with a professional recruitment team

Here at HW People, we work with businesses and organisations across all sectors – devising recruitment plans and strategies which meet your inhouse demands and requirements while presenting competitive benefits and opportunities for candidates.

Flexible and hybrid working is one of the latest in a list of ever-changing preferences brought to the forefront of the job market by candidates, who seek out these benefits when ascertaining exactly which position, company, and sector to apply for.

Get in touch with us for more information like this or to discuss with one of our team members directly here.

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