Home » Topics » Chatroom » Hybrid working and contractual changes?
To unsubscribe from all chat room notifications, please first login:
Posted: 13th May 2021
I wondered if anyone has a view on managing the practicalities of a new hybrid way of working. As a business, we are due to trial a new pattern of working from September, once we hope the working adult vaccination rollout will be wrapped up, comprised of min.3 days in the office and remaining 2 at home/anywhere. Whilst this means the employee spends the majority of their time working from the office, thus not being a homeworker, if we are allowing employees to work from home 2 days a week over an extended period of time would this therefore become an implied term of contract- thus requiring us to write to all employees stating its not a contractual change and can be withdrawn at any time? I’m personally in favour of a more agile approach but I’m also conscious that employment law doesn’t seem to have moved on so quickly, and want to avoid us getting caught out on technicalities because we have steamed ahead with going down this route but not got the paperwork bit right.
Would be really keen to understand what other firms are doing to reflect new agile/hybrid ways of working in their contracts/policies etc on the basis that the office remains the main place of work.
In my company each region determines what works at a country and office level in regards to our hybrid work approach. So far only Australia has required employees to sign a document where employees are seeking to work 50% at home. We’ve not been as prescriptive elsewhere and in the UK it is 100% the employees choice if and when they come to the office, they just have to book a desk in advance. We are not changing employment contracts, otherwise I don’t see it as agile.
We’re doing as Phil has described. It’s up to managers to agree with with their teams what’s going to work from a service point of view. We’re clear that we don’t have homeworking contracts, so no paperwork is changing, and the emphasis is on work wherever suits you to get the work done. We’re encouraging people to visit offices for their wellbeing as many have missed the social aspect but it’s absolutely not prescriptive. We’re introducing a desk booking system to facilitate this.
I think most employers are either trialling or still enabling hybrid working arrangements as part of the covid response – we most certainly are and consider that for many staff groups this will be the new norm. It doesn’t suit everyone so we wouldn’t want to impose it but are likely to offer hybrid working where it’s possible. I have recently advertised some senior level posts and stated in the ad that up to 50% of the time can be worked remotely.
In terms of you not wishing to set any precedent etc you can always make clear that it’s a trial and re-state that the organisation reserves the right to work from their designated base. I’d explain that after the experiences learned through covid you recognise the benefits of a mixed approach and that you will be reviewing the arrangement after a period of xxx.
Hopefully it will be demonstrated during the trial period that it’s feasible and actually beneficial both to the organisation and employees alike.
With regard to other matters I think that if you are endorsing this approach (as opposed to being plunged into working this way over the last 12 months) then all organisations will need to account for risk assessments, ergonomics and suitable home working equipment. I also think that governance issues will start to feature ie confidentiality etc as you never know who else is listening to sensitive discussions and also highly sensitive correspondence left around at home! Steve
Hi – I was coming on to ask a similar question so hope you don’t mind jumping on this thread… So, we are very open to the hybrid model and it being individuals choice, however similar to the original question from @Sinead we are looking to understand the practicalities – i.e. if someone is contracted wfh, at their request, do we still pay their expenses to travel into the office on the occasions that they do? and what additional support is being provided for people contracted to home – i.e. home office allowance etc?
Hi, I was fortunate enough to work at an organization that are early adopters of the hybrid model. The leadership team acknowledge that a lot of employees valued working from home, they were just as productive as being in the office, they also acknowledged that employees valued being in the office for collaboration and connection. So in order to have a new way of working post-covid we bought together people from across the organisation and formed a project team to work out what next for the organisation. The people in the project team were the “voice” for their teams, to identify what was important to them, what they valued, what worked well pre-covid and what they wanted to continue post-covid. This was then balanced with the organisation’s needs to ensure the culture, collaboration and connection wasn’t lost. As a result of of the project, we landed on a 50/50 split for most employees (some roles like sales might be on “the road” and work from home more). Yes we had a form that people completed and signed from a Health and Safety perspective, to confirm they had their home environment set up to work safely. The company paid a once off allowance to employees so they could set up their home environment. We didn’t change their employment letters and travel expenses are not paid for travelling to the office. To ensure the hybrid working model was successfully leaders and employees where provided with information/training sessions.
Hope this helps.
After many months of focus groups, lots of thinking, distilling information and engaging with people, we landed on the preference of our people to move to the hybrid working model. We are not being prescriptive about what this looks like by area and we are now in the next phase of looking at how we we make it work from all angles – practical, emotional etc. For all colleagues in scope, we have engaged in a communication process which is resulting in our people accepting a change to their contract from a specific office as their contractual place of work e.g. the Head Office location and move to a dual location of this office and their home. This process has involved one conversation and a follow up letter which requires signature (electronically) to accept the contractual change. We naturally have exceptions – people who can only work in the office for example, which we are supporting. We have embarked on this communication now (approx 700 in scope) to give us time to determine more detail around culture upon ‘return’ as well as the practicalities. We are also tidying up contracts for new starters to reflect the dual location
Successfully added to your favourites. View them here