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Flexible Working Taskforce releases hybrid work guidelines

The Flexible Working Taskforce has today (3 December) published new guidelines to help employers use fair and sustainable hybrid working practices.

The Taskforce, a partnership across business, unions, government departments and other groups, said that the guidance is designed to help employers reap the potential rewards of good hybrid working policy, and avoid its pitfalls.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD and co-chair of the Flexible Working Taskforce, said: “The pandemic gave us a unique opportunity to rethink the world of work and consider new ways of working that will benefit both organisations and our people."

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He added: "We know there is a great appetite from employees to have more say over where and how they work.

“Organisations that provide fair and inclusive hybrid working practices will reap the benefits by attracting and retaining talent and [will see] increased wellbeing and engagement, which in turn can drive productivity."

The guidelines include advice on effective training of management, how to review HR processes across the whole employee lifecycle, and effectively engaging with employees, managers, and trade unions to ensure a smooth and fair delivery of hybrid models of work.

Matthew Percival, employment director of the CBI, one of the constituent groups of the Taskforce, told HR magazine that a swift and careful approach will greatly benefit companies.

“Ways of working are evolving quickly and many firms are moving to hybrid working where they can. 

“When done well, hybrid working can improve employee motivation, productivity and engagement, and it’s helping firms attract and retain the people they need."

The key to making hybrid working a sustainable model, Percival added, was finding the balance between home and office life.

“This guidance provides top tips to equipping employees and managers with the skills and resources to develop approaches that work for both parties.”

Ann Francke, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, added that while the pandemic may have driven invention through necessity, hybrid working is a popular – and perhaps lasting – policy.

“CMI’s own research highlighted the very real appetite amongst the UK workforce for a more flexible approach to how they work,” she said.

Implementing new policies, and getting the balance right, she added, however, is often a challenge for managers.

“For many managers, introducing hybrid working is uncharted territory. This new employer guidance will be a huge help to them in working out and implement best-fit working practices. Getting it right will mean they have happier, more productive, more loyal teams – and a healthier business – as a result.”