The Acas guidance on requests for home and hybrid working tells employers to consult with affected staff members before adopting or altering hybrid working models. This means that, before making and adopting a Hybrid Working Policy, you should discuss your plans with staff members and encourage their feedback. Make sure you take any feedback into account. You should also consult with any of your staff members’ appropriate representatives (eg trade union representatives).
Consultation could take the form of, for example, carrying out surveys, holding meetings, sending emails requesting feedback, and/or trialling hybrid working on a temporary basis. For more information, read the Acas guidance on holding a consultation.
Remember to also consult staff members about your hybrid working model at regular intervals and, in particular, before making any changes.
Once you’ve decided to introduce a hybrid working model, make sure you communicate this and the details to your staff members.
If you’re introducing hybrid working as your workplace’s default working model, it’s also important to have a transition period during which staff members can prepare for and take steps towards working under the new model. For example, by obtaining necessary equipment and informing relevant parties (eg landlords). This Hybrid Working Policy template allows you to specify a transition period. Make sure you provide long enough, for example, 3 weeks. The Policy also sets out that you’ll extend the transition period for any applicable staff member if they’re waiting on permission to work from home, still ensuring their homeworking environment is appropriate (eg safe and secure), or waiting for a hybrid working opt-out request to be resolved.
Make sure, in addition to the above, that you follow the processes set out in the Hybrid Working Policy. For example, by treating requests for hybrid working or to opt-out of hybrid working fairly and in line with the specified timeframes.