Responding to requests for home and hybrid working
As an employer, someone might ask you about working from home or hybrid working. You should consider their request.
Follow the law
Make sure you know why they're asking – they could be making a request for a reasonable adjustment under the law (Equality Act 2010).
If someone asks in writing to change the terms and conditions of their employment, this might be a formal flexible working request. You must respond to flexible working requests appropriately.
Consider the benefits
Working from home and hybrid working can help:
- increase productivity and job satisfaction
- attract and retain a more diverse workforce
- improve trust and working relationships
When considering working from home and hybrid working, you should discuss how other types of flexible working might help. For example, different working patterns.
For example, Ali worked from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This allowed Ali to save money by not commuting, and to better look after their children. However, they sometimes felt lonely and found it difficult to collaborate on some work.
Ali does not want to return to the workplace full-time. Ali's employer could consider offering hybrid working and flexible working hours to help with childcare.
Have a policy
A policy can help you to:
- consider requests appropriately
- make transparent, fair and objective decisions
- explain the process to your employees
The COVID-19 pandemic has given people experience of working in lots of different ways.
If you are considering making changes, you should consult your employees, managers and unions as soon as possible.