Like so many other elements of our lives, the Covid-19 pandemic has created or accelerated different ways of doing things. And in the world of work, one of the obvious changes was the massive shift to working from home.
This has generated a new trend in staff management practices: hybrid flexible working. As restrictions around the world continue to loosen and tighten with the flow of the virus, companies are attempting to find ways to tweak their flexible working policies to keep staff motivated and productive.
If anyone is in any doubt as to the increasing importance of flexible working, a large multi-continent report by Microsoft in 2021 states that over 70% of workers want flexible working practices to continue.
Hybrid working is a flexible working model that gives staff some choice as to where they work. This generally translates to a combination of working from home and working in the office.
What's interesting is that, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, UK companies generally expect the number of people working from home to double. And in certain industries, this will result in attraction and selection issues, with talented people looking for flexibility as part of the benefits package.
While there are undoubtedly challenges with working from home (with technology probably being at the top of the list), there are clear benefits for organisations who take the time to understand what their staff need.
Getting hybrid flexible working right
In creative sectors like fashion, the first priority is to examine the practicalities of flexible working in key business activities like design, product development, and buying. Analysis of the opportunities that will be created, how much control there should be and educating staff on how the system will work are important to ensure that productivity isn't compromised.
The second key point is to talk to staff. If they are included, they are more likely to be realistic about what flexible working means for the core parts of the organisation's business activities.
To devise a system that works for everyone, you may wish to look at the following questions to frame any flexible working model that you are considering:
With the investment of some structure and thought, hybrid flexible working models have the potential to offer business benefits to companies and increased job satisfaction to workforces.
To help with remote onboarding new employees in a hybrid flexible model, request a free, digital copy of our Remote Onboarding Guide by emailing us here.