The forced transition from office working to working from home as a result of Covid-19 seems to have changed the way we all work for the foreseeable future. Working from home wasn’t a completely new concept but it had never been done on a scale whereby the vast majority of traditional office workers in the country were carrying out work from their homes for almost two years.

Whilst working from home (or at least an element of it) looks like it has become a permanent feature of the way we work, there seems to be a clear desire from organisations (certainly amongst our own client base) to strike a balance between working in the office and working remotely – ie establishing a hybrid working model.

This case study looks at a recent example of Gravitate HR working with a client to establish a hybrid working model that suits the needs of their employees as well as the organisation itself.

The process

The first step was to examine the existing flexible working policy which was drafted before the onset of Covid. The wording was very formal, perhaps to the extent that it would have discouraged people from making flexible working requests in the new world that we now live in, so it seemed like a sensible first step to make the wording less formal as well as taking a few steps out of the request process itself.

After identifying the changes that could be made, we had a meeting with the client to discuss what they would like to add, modify, or remove. It was important to make sure that team members were still required to attend department meetings to discuss what was happening operationally, efficiencies that could be made, what was going well, and perhaps ongoing problems. This is in addition to attending client meetings so team members could continue to provide the personalised service that the business is renowned for.

Going Forwards

Obviously the key to a hybrid working policy (and any other policy for that matter) is making sure it’s lived and breathed and the important thing is to ensure that it’s lived and breathed in the long-term and not just the short-term.

However, hopefully the dual benefits offered by the policy make that an easier task than it would be with another policy. On one hand, members of the team will have greater flexibility and a greater work-life balance whereas organisations can still manage their operations as they see fit (for example by still having team and client meetings.