September marks 18 months since the Covid-19 pandemic brought us and the rest of the world to its knees. But a year and a half on and the instruction to ‘stay at home’ seems a distant memory. No longer are there queues snaking their way around supermarket car parks. Rule of six, no more. Things are starting to resemble some form of normality - albeit with some unavoidable changes.
3 key considerations for businesses utilising a hybrid way of working:
- Ensure those working from home are included in meetings and key decisions.
- Consider all employees and use performance reviews/appraisals when determining bonus awards and promotions.
- Ensure home workers have the same access to training and support as their office-based counterparts.
On the other side, could the switch in attitude towards working from home actually lead to a fall in such claims?
Finally, previous imbalances between men and women who work from home are likely to even out. Although initial polling suggests that more mothers are looking to work from home at least one day a week (69%) than fathers (56%), it’s important to note that this research has been conducted off the back of a prolonged period of restrictions.
The novelty of the office could fade and attitudes may change to reflect a more even split. If this gender gap closes, it becomes another reason for bosses to make promotion and bonus decisions based on merit, rather than employees’ office attendance, which could ultimately see a reduction in the level of sex discrimination claims.
With 85% of workers wanting to use a hybrid model, it could level the playing field between those who were predominantly in the office before, and those who weren’t. It will take time to see what consequences will arise from this new working model. However, it may be a miscalculation to assume that an increase in home working will inevitably lead to an increase in claims. Given the statistics, this would be a wise pre-pandemic assumption – but a lot has changed in 18 months, this could be another one to add to the list.