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Hybrid working: the new normal?

   Hybrid working: the new normal?

With the anniversary of working from home for a significant portion of the population hitting over a year in recent months, many organisations and individuals are beginning to look to the future, and are considering if a full-time office lifestyle is really what’s right for their business and the wellbeing of their workers.

Hybrid working has been a reality for some for a while, but with the effects of the pandemic still in play, it’s prevalence in society may ultimately be on the rise after we begin a ‘new normal’.

But what does hybrid working actually mean?

It’s commonly interpreted as a work structure that grants more autonomy to employees, enabling them to fit work around their day to day life, rather than the other way round. It also tends to include more freedom on when they decide to work as well as where. For many, hybrid-working means having the option of deciding what hours they work, and whether they want to commute or log in to work from the comfort of their own homes.

In research commissioned by Avaya, it was found that 44% of UK workers consider the ability to work remotely as a driver of happiness, while an incredible 57% of UK workers said they have felt happier over the past year as a result of working from home.

It’s not just happiness that serves to work as a benefit for employees and businesses, it’s also an opportunity that could support significant increases in local spending according to the Post Pandemic Places report (research conducted by Demo, commissioned by Legal & General).

One of the key results from the Post Pandemic Places report, however, indicated that people who have been required to work from home, only want to continue doing so part of the time, and less than one in four (22%) want to do so exclusively.

Of course, when it comes to work that can’t be conducted remotely, having the option to commute to an office on a part time or flexible basis makes the everyday business of life easier.

While it appears that plenty of workers across the UK would welcome the opportunity for a hybrid work lifestyle, for some individuals it’s not so simple.

After all, not all homes double as a good working environment, and working from home is not accessible for everyone.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have identified that home-working can also cause work-related stress and can even affect people’s mental health if individuals are not supported properly, so employers should address any concerns from workers before implementing this new structure into a business.

Whether there are struggles around communication, the feeling of isolation from colleagues, or even the risk of burnout, when considering making the shift to a hybrid workplace it’s important to consider a healthy home and office balance.

To help those considering the change to a hybrid workplace, RoSPA have been at work organising a series of webinars focusing on the theory of how to adapt to hybrid working and make it a reality.

The webinars will be led by myself (Karen McDonnell, RoSPA’s OSH Policy Adviser) and Nick Pahl, chief executive, Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM), and part 1 took place on Wednesday 14th April 2021 and second in the series will be held on Wednesday 28th April 2021.

This series of webinars is one of the many RoSPA member benefits that can be accessed for free when joining our membership. Enjoy access to a range of content that will ensure your organisation is up-to-date and is maintaining CPD.

If you’re interested in becoming a RoSPA member, or would like to learn more click here, or alternatively you can call the RoADAR team on +44(0)121 248 2099 with any questions.

Dr Karen McDonnell, RoSPA’s OSH Policy Adviser
Posted: 4/15/2021 11:09:01 AM 0 comments


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