Many organizations have declared themselves mainly or partly remote over the past year. In most organizations however remote means some kind of hybrid model of work in which some of the work is done remotely and some traditionally from offices. In other organizations employees decide their way of working independently and in some there are at least some regulations concerning work location or working hours.
Managing daily life in hybrid work falls on human resources
Hybrid work brings challenges especially for human resources experts as they have a completely new kind of human resource management entity to create.
Some organizations may even have switched to remote work without thinking about how daily work is actually implemented and what small and big things are involved.
In theory, of course, employees can work from anywhere, as long as they have a working internet connection and a laptop. Often the reality is a little more complicated.
The challenges of hybrid work extend to many levels
Over the last couple of years, many people have become familiar with the various pros and cons of office and remote.
From an employer’s perspective, challenges may well concern from hands-on issues such as home office ergonomics to larger concepts such as the suitability of old employee benefit and reward practices for hybrid work.
The most agile organizations have taken on the challenges right away. As new benefits, employees are now offered e.g.
- ergonomic furniture and aids for the home office. These can include electric desks, saddle chairs, special mice and keyboards, and so on.
- more comprehensive insurances. These insurances also cover accidents at home office that are not covered by occupational accident insurance.
- extensions to occupational health care, which take into account, for example, mental health services. Hybrid work may place an additional mental health burden on some employees because it is largely based on the employee’s self-direction as well as a large amount of responsibility for their own work.
And these are just a few examples. But what about ‘traditional’ employee benefits?
And what about those office buildings that now stand empty in many places?
Do your benefits and practices suit hybrid work
During the corona period, it has been challenging to assess the importance of traditional employee benefits such as lunch vouchers.
In Finland, especially in smaller localities, it can be difficult to take advantage of the benefits when there are only a few service providers.
On the other hand, even in larger cities, sports venues and restaurants have been subjects to a variety of restrictions.
But what does your employee really do with a benefit they aren’t able to utilize in their daily life? Do benefits cause friction instead of joy when some people benefit more than others?
If a company is going to continue hybrid work, the whole employee benefits policy should actually be redesigned with hybrid work as the new norm.
Flexibility is the new black
As we have seen over the last couple of years, it is challenging to predict future changes. Therefore, a good starting point would be a flexible policy that would suit the needs of a wide range of employees.
When it comes to the empty office buildings that too should be refigured in the setting of hybrid work.
Some staff will always continue to see the office as an important safe space, while others would not want to come there at all.
What if your plan started with the premise that the office is so inviting and cozy that every member of staff wants to come there regularly to meet each other?
In such setting there would be no need to decide how many times a week or a month it would be mandatory to show your face in the office.
Involve your staff in planning new
When planning new policies, you should give your staff an opportunity to influence. After all who are you designing these benefits for if not your staff?
Employee benefits and perks originally exist to engage and attract experts and improve well-being at work and job satisfaction. So don’t forget to involve those for whom the benefits were originally intended.
At Söderberg & Partners we specialize in employee benefits and insurance globally.
We help you build new policies for your company's everyday life and find solutions that meet your needs at a cost-effective price.
Our experts are happy to tell you more about different good practices we’ve come across around the world.