QBE’s chief human resources officer, Emma Higgins, outlines what companies should consider when adopting a hybrid working model

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a game-changer for alternative ways of working. Employees across the globe have shown that the ‘impossible’ was doable after all, with expectations for hybrid working to stay remaining high. But what do companies need to consider?

Hybrid working is essentially making characteristics that define the workplace more flexible. Two of the more important characteristics to understand are where and when a job is done – a crucial first step in defining your approach.

Hybrid working arrangements are often a combination of fully remote working, fully on-site working and something in-between, with degrees of flexibility depending on the specific job and situation.

Equally, work times can range from being fixed to fully flexible.

There’s no ’one-size-fits-all’ model and what works for one company may not work for another. It’s a balancing act to align the needs of the job and the needs of employees, while still managing risks.

Here are eight factors that organisations need to consider when establishing hybrid working for their workplace:

1. Productivity

There have been broad observations by firms noting an increase in productivity when staff are working remotely - however this is by no means uniform across different types of work, nor do many believe that this is sustainable. Consideration of productivity drivers is needed.


Emma Higgins

2. Collaboration

A lack of in-person collaboration can hinder innovation. While there’s something inspiring about batting ideas about in the same room, lockdown has introduced online tools for collaboration and brainstorming. Having a structured approach that combines remote and in-person collaboration will probably yield better results.

3. Culture

The importance of culture in business success cannot be underestimated. Because the workplace is so important to defining organisational culture, leaders will need to work hard to build a sense of inclusion.

4. People

Hybrid working is expected to be a key tool in the war for talent post-pandemic. Organisations must have processes in place to develop and support career progression.

5. Fairness

Putting fairness and inclusion front and centre will be key to ensuring a successful hybrid working approach – so, treating remote employees the same as those working in person at offices.

6. Managers

Hybrid working is more challenging for managers, who will need to keep more balls in the air. They will need training, tools and time to make this shift.

7. Duty of care

Ensuring the same health and safety requirements are in place if employees are in the office or working from home.

If a work from anywhere policy is adopted, tax residency requirements and employee law implications will need to be carefully considered too.

Whether you’re starting your hybrid working strategy or reviewing its implementation, you’ll find more information to help you in the full article here.