Working from home, or agile / hybrid working has become the ‘norm’ for many employees across the UK since the pandemic. Where there once was a lack of trust in the workforce to perform at their best away from the office, it’s now widely accepted as a great flexible tool to help attract and retain talent. In fact, many candidates these days stipulate they want some kind of flexible working model, where they can work at least some of the time from home.
For those who have returned to the office and/or have always been office based then the question that comes up a lot is ‘Can I work from home?’ The answer isn’t quite straightforward though, and it will depend on the company, the type of work it does, the policies each company has in place, and it is always best to check with your HR team / policy for reference for anything you’re unsure of.
There are a number of reasons your circumstances my change and you might require a more flexible way of working. Now my best advice here is to always be as open and honest as you can and talk to your Manager or HR department. It’s always good to chat through your individual needs with your Line Manager first, if you can so they fully understand why you want to change your working model.
If you wish to make a formal request to apply flexible working by law, you can do so if:
- you’ve worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks.
- you’re legally an employee of the company.
- There has been more than 12 months since your last request.
There are potential changes coming down the line regarding flexible working, including making it a day 1 right to request (rather than having to have been employed for 26 weeks), but this is not in place yet – watch this space.
Working from home may also be considered as a reasonable adjustment for any long-term illness support, disabilities etc.
All requests should be treated the same by employers and replied to within 3 months of application. It’s important to be able to justify any decisions that are made, and to ensure you are being consistent with how you approach flexible working, so that employees feel they are being treated fairly.
It’s no surprise that Hybrid and remote/agile working is here to stay, and more and more industries are considering it as a flexible benefit when looking at employee benefits. As I’ve already said, it is one of the most sought after benefits in the job market these days, with many candidates ranking flexibility above salary.
As an employer, it is always worth exploring ALL options to offer flexibility! Challenge what you’re currently doing when it comes to how you can support your employees and streamline processes and activities to yield the highest productivity levels.
Here at MyPeopleClub, we have ALL the resources you need to help set up flexible working for the first time, update existing processes and or enhance your current offerings. Check out our library of resources with a membership starting from just £1 per day. You can find out more here.