More than half employers in Scotland see increase in staff hybrid working compared to pre-pandemic

Ian Proctor (Acas)

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MORE than half of employers in Scotland (53%) have seen an increase in hybrid working amongst staff compared to before the pandemic, according to a new survey by workplace experts Acas.

Hybrid working is a type of flexible working where an employee splits their time between the workplace and working from home or remotely.

Acas commissioned YouGov to ask businesses in Scotland about changes to working practices that they have seen compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The poll also found that more than two-fifths of Scotland employers (43%) have seen an increase in staff working from home full-time.

Acas Assistant Director Scotland, Ian Proctor, said:

“The pandemic has been a turbulent period for businesses in Scotland and many have had to explore new ways of working. Our poll has revealed an increase in hybrid working amongst staff in Scotland, which can be a great solution to attract and retain workers.”

“There will also be some employees who prefer not to work at home or find it impractical, so businesses should explore solutions that work for all employees and ensure nobody is disadvantaged.”

Acas advice is that hybrid working can help businesses attract and retain staff as well as increase staff productivity as the flexibility allows them to balance work and personal responsibilities.

Acas’s advice for employers in Scotland includes:

  • A company hybrid working policy should explain how someone can request it, how job roles will be assessed and how decisions will be made. It can also include principles such as allowing remote working for a maximum number of days a week;
  • Ensure staff who are working remotely are not excluded and have access to the same opportunities as those in the workplace such as team building activities, training and social activities; 
  • Decisions around whether to approve a staff request for hybrid working should be fair, transparent and other forms of flexible working could be discussed as possible alternatives;
  • Make sure employees have the necessary equipment and information to work safely from home. Employees might experience pain if they do not have the right working equipment – for example, they might have back problems caused by an unsuitable chair and desk; 
  • Staff working from home may struggle with switching off from work or work longer hours. Employers must follow the law on working hours and employees should make sure they take their rest breaks and take care of their mental health; and
  • Consider a trial period to see if it works and if any further adjustments to arrangements are needed.

For Acas’s full advice on hybrid and home working, please see:www.acas.org.uk/hybrid-working

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