Polls show that more than 66 per cent of employees want hybrid schedules: The flexibility to go into the office part of the week and work remotely on other days. Many employers keen to accommodate and thus retain and attract these workers (and possibly save on office rental space) are accepting hybrid schedules without considering the consequences.
The first step when “going hybrid” is to carefully review the needs of each position to determine the minimum working hours or availability required rather than broad policies allowing everyone to expect hybrid schedules.
Employers should keep hybrid work rights out of employment agreements, where they will be considered contractually binding. Conversely, employees who believe they are being hired to work remote indefinitely should include it in their letters of hire or employment agreements.
In your hybrid policy, clearly state all core in-office attendance, working hours and availability requirements and the employer’s right to amend these or withdraw hybrid privileges on minimal advance notice, e.g. four weeks. Mention that remote work entails a high level of trust and that abuse of the privilege will lead to discipline or termination. If there is concern about employees working too far away to attend in person events or triggering application of other laws, require that remote work be performed substantially in the region or province of hire.
Following these tips, employers should be able to satisfy demand for hybrid work while retaining control over workplace attendance, culture and performance.
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