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With timings on the easing of pandemic restrictions in England set to drift again, what do employers need to consider when deciding on where employees should work over the coming months?
The Prime Minister is likely to confirm today that lockdown easing will be delayed for another four weeks in England, meaning employers face even more soul-searching about the extent to which they open offices and welcome employees back to work - and when.
Staying operational during the pandemic has undoubtedly provided a catalyst for many UK businesses to rapidly change how they work. The end of lockdown restrictions - and potentially also social distancing rules - seemed to offer an opportunity for employers to reinvent ways of working on a more permanent basis.
When considering how far to go with hybrid working, while continuing to drive profits and promote employee wellbeing, thorough planning is essential. So, what key changes should business leaders and HR professionals be considering and how can they ensure teams stay connected in a hybrid working environment?
Take the leap
While new approaches bring challenges, businesses are keen to take them on and generate fresh opportunities for employees and employers alike.
Before the pandemic, many organisations suffered from issues such as presenteeism and poor productivity, but the pandemic showed that employees could be just as productive remotely as in the office.
To ensure productivity levels remain high as ways of working begin to transition to a hybrid format, managers should be managing outputs rather than inputs and incentivising staff with clear targets and rewards – it’s all about equipping employees to work smarter, not necessarily harder.
Ben Gillham, owner of office design business Thirdway, referred to there