If the pandemic made one major change to the way businesses operate, it must surely be the enormous surge in remote working. Though things are beginning to return to normal, many business owners are deciding to still allow their staff to work from home either temporarily, occasionally or entirely. 
Whilst some of your staff will almost certainly need to be based in the office to an extent, the combining of this with some level of work-from-home arrangement is called hybrid working. If this applies to your company, we’ve put together some advice on how to make hybrid working suit the needs of both your business and its people. 

What exactly is hybrid working? 

Hybrid working can take many forms, such as: 
All staff have the option to work from home either on designated days (e.g. every Friday), a certain number of days each month, or when they wish (this will usually be logged in a rota system). 
Some staff can work from home whilst others are always based on company premises. For instance, the senior management team is on-site five days a week but other employees have the option to work remotely from time to time, or vice versa. This completely depends on your type of business and how it operates. 
Staff earn the right to work from home, such as after so many months/years of service or as part of a reward system. 

What are the benefits of hybrid working? 

There are actually multiple advantages that come with hybrid working: 
Greater productivity: The ability to shape their home offices to suit individual tastes and preferences can help staff to get more done each day. 
Higher levels of wellbeing: Some people will want to be on-site all of the time, whereas others will find home working is beneficial to their mental health. This could be due to working in quieter surroundings, being closer to family members or having a garden to enjoy during lunch breaks. 
Reduced costs: Don’t forget that having staff on-site comes with a financial cost. Giving them the freedom to work from home now and then will save you money on everything from electricity and printing to kitchen supplies and toiletries. 
Stronger recruitment: When you have the option for a new member of staff to work from anywhere, your talent pool suddenly expands exponentially. You could hire the very best specialists who live at the other side of the country or even abroad without having to worry about relocation. 
Smaller carbon footprint: The commute your employees make every day is connected to your company’s carbon footprint. If fewer people are driving, your business is causing fewer carbon emission – it really is that simple. 

Technology is key 

There are tons of digital platforms that will help you to maximise the return on investment you get from hybrid working, such as: 
Video conferencing software, e.g. Microsoft Teams and Zoom 
Office 365 packages 
Project management software like, Basecamp and Slack 
Hosted desktops (also known as virtual desktops), which give team members access to their usual desktop experience from anywhere, all while ensuring high levels of digital security 
Cloud accounting software for the logging of invoices, bills and receipts, such as the Xero app 

Help staff to stay social 

The one genuine risk that comes with hybrid working is that some employees may feel isolated. As a business owner, you can play an active role in keeping everyone connected, which greatly benefits communication, collaboration, quality of work and employee wellbeing: 
Have a quick check-in with remote workers each Monday morning via video call (this could be one-to-ones or a group session) 
Use instant messaging (such as Microsoft Teams) for quick questions 
Encourage remote workers to have virtual coffee breaks with each other 
Hold online social events on a regular basis, such as a Friday night quiz or a virtual escape room 

Ask us for tailored advice 

We’re not just accountants, as we also help business owners with a variety of other issues. For tailored advice and support, call our Yorkshire office on 01482 235575, our London office on 0207 885 0605, or fill in the contact form below. 
Tagged as: Small Business Help
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