New data from the professional body for HR and people development shows that more than three-quarters of organisations have embraced hybrid working through a mix of formal and informal arrangements.
The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development is urging employers to "seize the moment" to develop and embed new ways of working that will ultimately benefit organisations and their people.
The CIPD survey of over 1,000 senior decision-makers found that the majority of employers who can offer hybrid working – a mix of workplace and home working – are embracing it.
The research reveals the following about respondents’ organisations:
- 78% allow hybrid working, through either formal or informal arrangements;
- 8% don’t offer hybrid working;
- 13% said it wasn’t generally applicable for their job or sector;
- 54% expect hybrid workers to be in the office for a minimum number of days – two days (34%) or three days (32%) – either each week (43%) or each month (12%); and
- 44% said there were no minimum expectations to come in.
Employers now have greater trust in homeworkers
In the aftermath of Covid, 59% of senior decision-makers said business leaders and managers in their organisations were more likely than before the pandemic to trust people to work from home and be productive. Only 13% disagreed.
While the research indicates that hybrid working is working well in many organisations, some challenges or resistance are being felt:
68% don’t plan to make any changes to pay and/or benefits for hybrid workers;
4% said their organisation had reduced pay and/or benefits; and
13% said they plan to do so.
There is also a risk that new ways of working may be short lived. A small majority of senior decision makers (42%) felt “the memory of the pandemic will fade quite quickly and it won’t be long before we revert to the way we worked before Covid-19”. However, 41% disagreed.
Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said: “The post-Covid future of work is still undecided. Now’s the time for employers to engage with their people and continue to refine and embed new ways of working that suit both the organisation and the workforce.
“Developing effective hybrid working arrangements can help employers attract and retain a more diverse workforce while enhancing employee wellbeing, work-life balance and productivity. They can also help employees easily and productively work from home when there are disruptions to their working day, like the rail strikes this week, or when adverse weather strikes.”
Willmott added: “Hybrid working won’t suit everyone or be possible for many workers, so employers must ensure there is consistency and fairness in how they manage, reward and promote those who can work from home and those who attend the workplace every day.
“Employers should also recognise there are potential ethical and legal considerations for differentiating pay or benefits between those working from home and those working in the office unless these can be justified. For example, there could be a risk of indirect discrimination, as it’s likely that there will be more people with caring responsibilities, health conditions or disabilities working more regularly from home. Treating groups of workers differently could also cause or exacerbate pay gaps.”
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