Employers and HR professionals should therefore be prepared for an increase in flexible working requests in the months to come, both as a result of the pandemic and if more information becomes available about legislative changes. Try to allay any career progression concern by highlighting any training opportunities employees could take advantage of at this time. Customer service employees can pick specific shifts that work for them, such as a mixture of early and late shifts. “This is not how I envisioned the distributed work revolution taking hold,” said Matt Mullenweg, chief executive of WordPress and Tumblr owner Automattic. Homeworking can lead to people working longer hours than they would in the office so consider suitable messaging to counteract this possibility. More information about contracts of employment can be found on the terms and conditions of employment topic page. Managers will also need to understand how to manage flexible workers and a mixed team of office based and remote workers, as well as the many potential business and individual benefits of working more flexibly. The good news is you can find an array of work-from-home jobs across all … Good and bad excuses for missing work when you need to be absent, examples of the best reasons for getting out of work, ... 40% of workers took a fake sick day during 2017, ... so she had to stay home. Some of these working arrangements may differ from those set out in employees’ contracts of employment. Employees may now be aware of how possible it is to work effectively from home and have learned how to use the technology that supports them to do so. Many employees may have short to medium term needs for flexible working as a result of the current situation. The company has had some controversies, however, from an insecure plugin for Mac clients that was fixed in June to a questionable “attention tracking” feature that allows horrible bosses to use AI to check whether their employees are actually looking at the screen. A simple application process that does not require employees to specify why they want to work flexibly. Encouraging regular 1-2-1 or ‘check-in’ meetings to monitor wellbeing and reduce any feelings of isolation for homeworkers. In addition to regular catch-ups, advise line managers to ask open questions such as ‘are you feeling fulfilled in the work you do?’ and ‘how can I support you better?’ to overcome any barriers or communication problems. During the coronavirus pandemic, many people who usually work in an office will now be working from home. Cloudflare, which provides online infrastructure that underpins a huge swathe of the internet, says it has been tracking the increase. There are New Rules for Outdoor Exercising During the Coronavirus Lockdown Morgan Fargo. COVID-19 at Work: Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities Answers to frequently asked questions about coronavirus in the workplace. Travel rules for workers and the jobs that can keep working under new Covid restrictions Communicate proposals clearly to all employees, including those currently on furlough leave, setting out as much practical detail as possible and how long any such changes are likely to last. This guide will consider how flexible working may be approached in the short and long term, both to support health and safety obligations to employees returning to the traditional workplace, but also to generate potential people benefits and opportunities for organisations following the pandemic. Managers may be unclear about how to ‘measure’ work and output during this time, especially if remote or flexible working is new. Schneider Electric (who gained insight into the importance of the relationship between line managers and their teams in making flexible working successful). The Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, has advised that workers should work from home wherever and whenever they can. Consistent application of policy – for example ensuring all areas of the organisation takes a similar approach to decision making. Where it is feasible to do so, opening seven days a week and asking or allowing employees to work some of their physical workplace hours on weekends can also reduce the amount of people in the workplace at any time. If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) you should get tested. Unfortunately, there can be negative stereotypes associated with flexible workers with researc h suggesting that flexible workers are often considered to be less committed, cause increased work for others and are more difficult to manage. A supporting ACAS Code of Practice sets out guidance for employers when responding to a flexible working request. More information on staggered hours and how they can be implemented can be found the flexible working measures for returning to the workplace guide. Working from home during coronavirus. Covid: How far can you travel for exercise during lockdown? ... • for work, if you cannot work from home ... Coronavirus R Rate for South West is now the highest in England. 3. Mullenweg’s company is already “distributed”, and he predicts the changes “might also offer an opportunity for many companies to finally build a culture that allows long-overdue work flexibility. Yet, telework presents its own risks. These could include: Any changes should be mutually agreed, confirmed in writing and have a clear end date. Tracking these expenses can be challenging, so we have introduced a temporary shortcut method. Internet service providers have come under pressure to lift bandwidth caps so remote workers don’t get cut off from their employers. This may also help with reskilling employees. Prior to the pandemic, flexible working uptake was slow and it is generally considered that the overall demand for flexible working outstripped supply in the pre-COVID-19 world. Supportive senior leaders including visible role models. Each request is considered on its own merits. Where the policy follows the statutory procedures only, the full benefits of flexible working may not be realised. Now police have said needing to cool off from an argument, buying alcohol, taking your pet to the vet or having a rest while out for a walk all count as reasons to be outside the home. The change in work culture amounts to a quiet revolution. However, some will remain. There are many potential reasons for this. UCF’s workweek begins at 12:00 a.m. on Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the following Thursday. Practical aspects of people manager training should include: Manager training can be complimented with practical tools such as ‘how to’ guides, case studies, process maps and standard forms. Considerations for effective people management during this interim period should include: Employers should consider allowing requests for short term flexible working or time-limited changes to terms and conditions of employment. What challenges have employees experienced whilst working remotely and flexibly? Covid-19 could cause permanent shift towards home working This article is more than 9 months old Tech firms will benefit, but some companies could find employees don’t want to return to the office During this time employers and people professionals may find the insights from the following case studies particularly useful: Tried-and-tested flexible working methods More information on organisational culture is available in the factsheet. Providing general wellbeing support to all employees. Managers hold the key to flexible working: they can either be an enabler and supporter, or a barrier to effective implementation. After post Covid-19, you may have to re-engineer your organization to reduce costs among other things. Of those residents of London who did some work at home, 91.6% cited the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as their main reason for doing so. Handovers should be undertaken by the same individuals while observing social distancing. This is likely to continue in the short term and is something which employers should consider carefully. As part of the research for the cross-sector insights on enabling flexible working guide, the CIPD looked at flexible working in several organisations. And the Texas Workforce Commission has issued guidance saying that Texans can receive unemployment benefits if they choose to not return to work for certain COVID-19-related reasons. During this time, organisations and their people managers need to ensure fairness and consistency in the treatment of all employees whether working flexibly or not, as well as ongoing communication and engagement. More information from the CIPD on enabling flexible working, including successful case studies, can be found on the flexible working topic page. These are organisational culture, policy and manager training. Allowing employees to request temporary changes to their working pattern; for example, for three or six months. Outlining specific requests employees may make, for example a reduction of hours or flexi-time. The following elements of culture and activities are typically present in organisations where flexible working is working well: Changing culture means changing attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. The Pomodoro method, a well-known approach to focus management that lets you break the day into 20-minute chunks with five-minute rests, is one such approach. For example, some employees may work 7am-3pm with others working 10am-6pm. It will also support the transition to a more flexible future. Corporate networks, unused to having a majority of their connections coming in over virtual private networks (VPNs), are experiencing unusual quirks, while internet service providers have come under pressure to lift bandwidth caps so that remote workers do not get cut off from their employers halfway through the month. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises people to work from home if they can during the COVID-19 pandemic. Posted Mar 16, 2020 Groups starting and leaving work should do so on a phased basis to reduce interaction or crowds forming in certain locations. Regular team meetings and social spaces to maintain connections and build relationships. What organisations can do following this period of enforced homeworking is to review the fact that flexible working has many potential benefits for organisations and employees. However, simply providing information on policy and process is unlikely to be sufficient to move people towards a more flexible working culture. Sick pay for self-isolation. Download a range of practice materials to assist in supporting their business and workforce through a global health emergency, Answers to frequently asked questions to offer guidance in responding to the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Our series of top tips will help you and your team get the most out of homeworking, © Copyright Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 2021, 151 The Broadway, London SW19 1JQ, UK Incorporated by Royal Charter, Registered Charity no. Kate Ng. This could mean sharing examples of how they expect tasks to be done and being clear about deadlines and priorities. HR can play a key role in supporting organisation change. While the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances may impact the accuracy and validity of the information. There are many forms of flexible working including homeworking, part time or reduced hours, job shares, flexi-time, compressed or annualised hours, career breaks, staggered start and finish times or self-rostering. COVID-19 compels companies en masse to adopt remote working. 1079797. There are several ways that a contract may be changed but the most effective of these is usually to do so by agreement. For example, some employers allow employees to request flexible working from day one of employment, rather than requiring them to wait the 26 weeks service criteria set out in the legislation. Men are more likely to continue working from home once restrictions are lifted. 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