8.4 Where does hybrid working fit in?
Remote working during the pandemic brought some workers real benefits to their wellbeing and work-life balance, which they are not keen to give up now that work from home guidance is coming to an end. Last year saw a 50% increase in the number of tribunal cases appealing refused flexible working requests. In a context where flexibility is increasingly important to workers, employers who don’t proactively offer longer term flexibility risk losing valued staff.
As mentioned earlier, diversity and inclusion is important in the workplace to promote high performance in teams. As workforces change the ways they work to increase remote working and hybrid approaches, it’s important to listen to those diverse voices to prevent inequities in working models.
Box 6 Remote working case studies
The case studies linked to below are examples of what some Welsh organisations did to respond to lockdown restrictions on office-based working. They include examples of the opportunities and challenges people faced, and what the organisations are planning around diversifying ways of working in the future. You don’t need to read each example, but select at least to two to gain alternative perspectives.
There are many reasons why people may or may not be keen to return to working full-time in an office. Whichever model your organisation adopts, all communities need to be heard, with their needs and reasons for different working models understood. This is enshrined by the Five Ways of Working (see Table 4) that emerged in response to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, in particular ‘Involvement’ and ‘Collaboration’. These two ways of working value involving and working with others to ensure the diverse representation of communities to help achieve the wellbeing goals set out in the Act.
Long-term: The importance of balancing short-term needs with the needs to safeguard the ability to also meet long-term needs.
Integration: Considering how the public body’s wellbeing objectives may impact upon each of the wellbeing goals, on their objectives, or on the objectives of other public bodies.
Involvement: The importance of involving people with an interest in achieving the wellbeing goals, and ensuring that those people reflect the diversity of the area which the body serves.
Collaboration: Acting in collaboration with any other person (or different parts of the body itself) that could help the body to meet its wellbeing objectives.
Prevention: How acting to prevent problems occurring or getting worse may help public bodies meet their objectives.