It may have only accelerated an existing trend, but one of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is a growing expectation from employees on flexible working arrangements going forward, and the ability to work regularly from home after the pandemic has ended. 40% of employers report that they expect more than half their workforce to work regularly from home once the pandemic ends. Charities are not immune from this trend and will need to factor this into their future plans as a failure to do so risks increased employee turnover, reduced employee engagement and limitations on the ability to attract future staff.
The benefits of hybrid working for the employee are clear, offering a better work-life balance, saved commuting time and cost and a greater ability to focus with fewer distractions. There are also potential benefits for the charity as well, with the possibility of reducing estate and facility costs, enabling employee wellbeing and supporting greater inclusion and diversity.
Hybrid working though does present challenges. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
(CIPD) has produced a useful guide for employers on planning for hybrid working which can be obtained free of charge from their website. It covers immediate issues such as planning for a COVID safe return to office working, as well as covering longer term issues that need to be considered when planning for the future, such as determining policy, legal implications, training and development needs, employee wellbeing and technology needs.
For smaller charities that do not employ their own HR personnel, a guide such as this can be useful means of the steps that need to be undertaken when moving to a new way of working.