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11.08.2022 Back to Blog articles

What Is Hybrid Working And Why Businesses Should Embrace It!

The concept of hybrid working is not a new one and while some businesses have welcomed the new(ish) trend, many were forced into adopting it due to the Covid pandemic. However, now that we are making positive steps towards what we may be able to call ‘normal’, there is a noticeable divide. Some businesses are choosing to transition back towards more traditional working environments while others are continuing to embrace a more flexible office ethos.

What Is Hybrid Working?

Hybrid working refers to a whole host of working styles and ethics but put simply it refers to a flexible way of working. By being willing to adapt and offer employees more variation in when, how and where they work, companies can maintain and even attract staff while streamlining overhead costs. What is important to note is that hybrid working is not the same as remote working! The key differentiating factor between remote and hybrid working is the attitude to the ‘personal’ aspect of business with hybrid working encouraging regular office/face to face time and a more defined structure. But what does that mean?

Unlike remote working where an employee is commonly left to their own devices a lot of the time; hybrid working is designed to offer the flexibility of remote working while encouraging networking, brainstorming, skill sharing and collaboration. At its heart, hybrid working is flexible enough to allow employees to establish a working style that best suits them, within reason! What is important to note is that hybrid working is tailored to your business and your staff. What will work for one may not work for another so it is vital to take time to find which arrangement suits you, your business and your employees best.

Implementing Hybrid Working

Adopting a hybrid working philosophy is reasonably straightforward regardless of the size of your business and with a bit of forward planning, relatively painless. If you are intending to offer hybrid working to your employees, a little research can go a long way. Crucially, before you do anything, you must first establish or update your existing flexible working policy. This way, everyone knows where they stand and what to expect.

Your hybrid or flexible working policy should include:

  • Who is eligible for hybrid working and how it can be requested
  • Outline roles and responsibilities for employees, managers and as an employer. 

This could include: working hours, expenses, IT provision, data protection and communication expectations.

  • Which forms of flexible working are acceptable and on what terms.

As a simple example, an employer may choose to offer hybrid working to their employees on this basis. 

“All employees from middle management upwards are eligible for hybrid working but advanced notification and authorisation is required. Any employees on a hybrid working contract must utilise approved ‘workplaces’ and maintain the agreed working conditions and continue to meet deliverables. Agreed working conditions should include aspects such as working hours and what times and days they will be in which location.” 

In essence, although hybrid working offers more flexibility an employer should still know where and when their employees are working. The growth of shared and coworking spaces has made the adoption of more flexible working easier for employers and employees alike. Many of us found during the pandemic that working from home was not as great as we thought, especially if you were in a creative industry or field. Needless to say there is a lot to be said about the benefit of brainstorming ideas with a colleague. These ‘face to face’ or ‘contact’ periods can help bridge the gap between the home and the office, being flexible enough to support an employee's needs while reassuring an employer that the work is still going to be done.

Why Hybrid Working Is The Future!

There are endless benefits associated with hybrid working for both employers and employees however our top 2 are:

  1. Access to highly skilled staff without geographical or time limitations
  2. The ability to streamline overheads so that a business can filter finances to where it is really needed.

By utilising the flexibility that hybrid working offers an employer can attract new and maintain  highly skilled employees without the typical restrictions a company may face. The most common barrier to employee recruitment and retention is a company's working environment. This can be down to a variety of reasons however the most common are:

  • The length and cost of commute


  • The need for flexible work days or hours due to aspects such as family commitments or personal health issues.

As a result a highly skilled potential employee, who may be the best fit for your company, may not apply for a job due to the need to relocate or work a standardised 9 to 5. In contrast when offering a hybrid working arrangement you can gain the best staff for your company even if they live in a different city or have family commitments. Let’s face it not everyone is willing or able to do the typical 1-2 hour commute most of us face. With this in mind, many businesses have also used the opportunities that hybrid working has offered to expand into new areas, using shared and coworking spaces to establish satellite offices. In turn employers can then streamline their overheads by focusing on maximising the utilisation of any existing office space. It may be great to have a large office in London but if 25% of your staff there only work part time or outwith the typical monday to friday, 9 to 5 it may be more logical to downsize, rent out and share any spare office space as well as consider policies such as desk sharing.

Regardless of the size of the company and what industry you are in, how as well as where we work is becoming increasingly important. In summary, businesses must evolve and adapt to the times if they are to survive and prosper.

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