Employers to expect more flexible working requests as Covid ends

According to a recent survey, more than half of employers expect to receive more flexible working requests as the UK comes out of the pandemic.

A YouGov poll of more than 2,000 senior decision makers in UK companies, conducted on behalf of Acas, found 55 per cent expected an increase in the number of staff working remotely for part of the week.

Half of those polled (49 per cent) said they expected more staff to work remotely all week. 

Acas has published the findings alongside new guidance for businesses on how to implement hybrid practices in a fair and transparent way.

It is recommended that employers consult widely with staff about introducing hybrid working on issues including health and safety, performance management and the use of technology.

It is also advised employers avoid excluding remote workers from workplace opportunities including training and learning and development.

The pandemic has greatly impacted working life and it’s unsurprising that many employers and their staff have seen the benefits of flexible working during this difficult period.   Many employees had wanted a hybrid working model before the pandemic but were put off over fears it would have been interpreted as a lack of commitment.

Now, employers are more welcoming of hybrid models, motivated by productivity increases and the prospects of downsizing their estates.  It is warned that take-up of hybrid working could be low in the first six months after furlough ends, as the impending economic recession will make people fear that their jobs are insecure. Employers are urged to train line managers in people skills, and how to manage those working from home and in the office and recognise when they need support.

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