Guides & Advice

What will working arrangements look like in a post-pandemic future?

Published: 21st June 2021
Area: Corporate & Commercial

It’s been over a year since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic and working arrangements shifted dramatically from in-office to remote. But with normality on the horizon, how will we all be working in a post-pandemic future?

Facilitating flexible working

With staff beginning their gradual return to the workplace, businesses will need to start making decisions around working arrangements, informing staff of these as soon as possible. It might be that business owners choose to ask employees for their thoughts beforehand to ensure their needs and concerns are considered.

Businesses choosing to return full time to the workplace will need to establish whether this will be done on a rota basis or not. For those adopting a more hybrid way of working, clear expectations will need to be given to staff, including establishing working hours and days in the workplace versus days at home.

Considering contractual changes

Depending on the decisions made around an employee’s working conditions, contractual changes may be required. This would include details of where a staff member is required to work from and their expected working hours. For those working from home full time, employers must consider whether a new risk assessment is needed for their place of work.

It would also be wise for employers to reserve the right to request an employee’s presence in the physical workplace. For example, to attend client or customer meetings.

It is important to note that any contractual changes must not be made until the employer is certain that they will be implemented for the foreseeable future. Discussing these changes with the workforce beforehand can reduce the risk of employees making formal flexible working requests, such as for alternative working hours, at a later date.

Implementing new policies

In the event that an employer has some of their workforce operating full time from home and others on flexible working terms, it may be necessary to implement a homeworking policy. This would also be beneficial to businesses looking to trial a hybrid approach, before implementing one permanently.

For those working alone whether at home, at customer premises or in the workplace, a lone worker policy may be necessary. This would set out the measures in place to ensure the health and safety of those working by themselves, including regular check-ins and the reporting of any incidents.

Although some businesses will return to the workplace full time, it is likely that more and more will begin to adopt hybrid ways of working in the future. Organisations should seek to consult their staff before making any permanent decisions, to avoid any issues later down the line.

 

Read more: Frequently Asked Questions about Post Pandemic Working

Watch our post-pandemic working arrangements webinar
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Helping business prepare for the future of work post COVID-19

The workplace is going to look very different now that most restrictions have been lifted, for many reasons.
Make sure that your business is prepared for the challenges and opportunities that will face us all.

Visit our future of work hub on how we can help:

  • Draft vaccination and flexible working policies.
  • Review your flexible and hybrid working policies.
  • Implement new additional benefits to employees.

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