Last reviewed 22 June 2022

There are no doubt some politicians who will be unhappy at the news, but a new survey by Acas has shown that 60% of employers have seen an increase in hybrid working for staff compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic.

As Acas explains, hybrid working is a type of flexible working where an employee splits their time between the workplace and working from home or remotely.

The conciliation and arbitration body commissioned YouGov to ask British businesses about changes to working practices that they have seen compared to before the pandemic. Not only did this highlight the rise in hybrid working, but the poll also found that over half of employers (52%) have seen an increase in staff working from home full-time.

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said: “Many businesses adapted to new ways of working during the pandemic and it's unsurprising that most employers have seen an increase in home and hybrid working among their staff.”

There are, she went on, clear benefits to these types of flexible working, such as helping businesses attract and retain staff.

However, employers will need to recognise that there will be staff that are eager to get back to how they were working before Covid-19 and hybrid or home working may not be practical for everyone.

They will need to ensure that staff who work remotely have access to the same opportunities as those that are physically in a workplace, Ms Clews advised.

Acas has published guidance for employers on hybrid working. Available here, this includes a suggestion to consider a trial period to see if it works and if any further adjustments to arrangements are needed.

It also recommends that a company hybrid working policy should explain how someone can request it, how job roles will be assessed and how decisions will be made and can also include principles such as allowing remote working for a maximum number of days a week.

Comment by Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula

Many employers are keen to embrace remote or hybrid working to afford their staff a better work-life balance whilst saving on costly office space expenses.

Similarly, employees are reducing their outgoings on commuting and appreciating having employers who support their lifestyles and person circumstances. With more employees working from home than ever before, it’s important employers take steps to ensure their workplace is safe and comfortable.

Remote-based workers should be afforded the same opportunities and attention as staff working on-site.

As such, employers should have clear communication channels in place, so they can engage with their remote workforce as easily as people in the office.