In 2020, many companies were forced to adopt remote work arrangements because of the pandemic. However, this year, some companies are shifting to a hybrid work model wherein employees can split their work week between the office and another location. Apple, for example, is expecting all of its employees to report to the office three days a week. On the other hand, Google is adopting a similar 3-day office work arrangement for most of its staff but is permitting the rest to continue working remotely. 

If your company is also adopting a hybrid work setup, you should create a hybrid work policy first. 

What is a hybrid work policy?

A hybrid work policy details the rules and guidelines for how much flexibility employees have when it comes to telecommuting and having to report to the office. This policy helps them navigate this new way of working.

For a hybrid work arrangement to become successful, there must be trust. Employers need to trust that employees are actually working (and not lollygagging), and employees need to trust that their employers will give them the support they need in this new arrangement, too. A hybrid work policy helps maintain that trust by clarifying what employers and employees can expect from one another. It also provides structure to distributed teams and helps members work together despite the physical distance between them. 

What should a hybrid work policy contain?

The following details should be included in your hybrid work policy:

Eligibility

The hybrid work policy must state whether all employees or only certain positions are eligible for partial or full remote work. If certain positions are not eligible, you must indicate the reasons for this to prevent potential discrimination claims or other complaints. 

Aside from position, employee performance could also be a basis for eligibility. For example, an underperformer could be limited to working in the office until their performance improves. 

Hybrid working expectations

The policy should clarify the company’s expectation of the split between working in the office and other locations. Are employees required to be in the office on specific days (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays) or a set number of unspecified days in a week (e.g., three days per week)? 

You must also elaborate on the specific events in which employees are expected to be in the office, such as team meetings, brainstorming sessions, employee performance reviews, and in-person training. Are there certain events that have regular set schedules (e.g., every 1st Tuesday of the month)? For events that do not, how many days in advance should employees be notified? 

Office work guidelines

Your hybrid work policy should detail all the procedures and arrangements for working in the office. Are there limited workstations available and do they need to book one ahead of time? Can they work in the office only during regular hours or do they have flexible hours? Are there safety measures that they need to observe, such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distance from other workers? 

Remote work guidelines

The policy should state what employees are and are not allowed to do while working remotely. Can they work in other venues aside from their home address? If they can, do they need to inform their manager if they are working elsewhere? Should they be available online for a set period (e.g., 9:00 AM–5:00 PM) or do they have flexible working hours? 

Employees must also be guided on how to go about regular administrative and HR processes, such as: 

  • Logging in/out for work
  • Filing sick/vacation/emergency leaves
  • Submitting requests for reimbursement or financial assistance (if available)
  • Reporting issues to HR

What’s more, the policy must indicate the official communications platforms and methods that remote workers should use. This standardizes your work tools across the entire organization, enabling an effective and secure hybrid workplace. 

Lastly, you must also detail your company’s cybersecurity policies for telecommuting. Are employees limited to using only company-issued devices for work? Can employees access company resources while connected to public networks? Do employees have to use certain IT security solutions, such as anti-malware software and firewalls? By specifying these cybersecurity policies, you will be able to better safeguard your company’s data and IT resources. 

Enjoy a smoother transition to a hybrid work setup by partnering with Austin Technology. With our help, you will be empowered with IT solutions that support your business’s changing needs. Consult with our IT experts today.

 

By Austin

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