New research from Newcastle University Business School and the Work Foundation has found that hybrid working is set to become a feature of northern workplaces in the future.
Based on a study of the Understanding Society survey data and 33 in-depth interviews with employers in manufacturing and professional service firms, along with local stakeholders from across the North of England, the new report, Remote and hybrid work in the North of England: Impacts and future prospects (PDF: 2MB), offers the following recommendations to make hybrid working a success:
Help employees manage their work-life balance and consider introducing an organisational right-to-disconnect policy.
Consult with staff and trade union representatives on broader preferences for flexible work, taking account of the importance not only of flexibility in where employees work, but also how and when they work. This should be aimed at providing access to flexible work particularly for those in jobs that cannot be carried out remotely.
Government’s Flexible Working Taskforce should set out proposals to amend legislation around flexible work, for example introducing a day-one right to request flexible work; narrowing the range of reasons employers may give to deny such a request; and shoring up avenues for workers to appeal decisions without fearing reprisal.
The taskforce should also develop clear guidance for employers around their duty of care towards employees while they are working exclusively remotely, or in a hybrid model.