The concept behind hybrid work seems simple enough. Employees are granted the opportunity to work both from home and in-office thus providing a compromise to those wanting to work remotely. The problem is that, even with this option, employers and employees are still not seeing eye to eye.
Many employers are still focused on a return to in-office work. A recent study of over 2,800 senior managers in various industries found that the majority of respondents will require employees to return to the office once the pandemic dies down. Meanwhile, just 16 % will implement a hybrid work system and 12% said they will leave the option up to their employees.
On the opposite end, nearly 50% of employee respondents said they prefer hybrid work while 26% preferred fully remote work and 25% preferred fully in-office work. This clash can lead to tension and even push employees to seek other employment. Losing staff is the last thing any employer wants, especially amid a pandemic, which is why it is worth looking into implementing a hybrid work model, which incorporates a mixture of in-office and remote work in an employee’s schedule. There are three main types of hybrid work models:
Remote-First This option closely mirrors a fully remote company but with a few exceptions. Most companies following this option will keep their offices as space for employees to still work from. Flexibility is something that may also differ as some employees may still require staff to continue coming to the office if their job requires their physical presence.
Office-Occasional The idea is exactly as the name suggests— employees come into the office a few times a week or month.
Office-First, Remote Allowed The idea here is to designate the office as a primary place for working but to also maintain a remote work policy.
How Hybrid Work May Change Benefits
The stressors of the pandemic have caused employees’ values to shift and many companies that have implemented a hybrid work system are expanding certain benefits to meet this. More flexibility is one of the leading benefits that has become a priority within these companies. Many employers are now also offering flexible time off that employees can take when they need to.
If the pandemic has taught employers anything it is that people often work best when they feel they have more control over their hours that they can tailor to suit their specific life needs. A hybrid work environment is a massive step in that direction. In many instances input is more important than the time spent working. With this in mind, the idea of flexible paid time off, which allows employees to simply take time off when they feel they need it, is also becoming more popular.
One company, Fair Isaac Corp., a data-analytics software firm, shared how it had implemented a nonaccrual-based leave policy for most of its employees to the Wall Street Journal. “Traditional vacation policies assume that you earn it and then you use it on sort of a 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday kind of basis. It was just an outdated concept,” said Rich Deal, executive vice president and chief human-resources officer at Fair Isaac. He says the company started a “much more fluid policy that’s trust-based. It doesn’t put accrual limits and usage limits around it, and that acknowledges that work can happen at any time of the day.”
Iain Urquhart, senior vice president of a visualization-technology company that moved to a flexible vacation policy, added that managers still have to approve time-off requests under the company’s flexible vacation policies. Additionally, employees are held accountable for poor performance due to extended leave periods. “If you take so much time off that you don’t perform, that’s a performance issue and you can lose your job,” he said.
The idea of tracking flexible leave can be intimidating to managers and HR concerned about all the additional work it may require, especially if tracking leave manually. There are various problems that South African companies can experience when managing leave. These can include:
- Wasted time managing and reporting on leave.
- Incorrect leave balances due to data capture errors.
- Managers who don’t have relevant information when approving leave.
- Poor planning which can lead to scheduling conflicts.
- Employees who don’t have easy access to their leave information.
- Compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
This is where LeavePro can help. As an online leave management system, we are able to solve all these problems by having one central place to access all leave information in your company. There are several features that make the leave tracking process easier, saving you time and headaches when managing leave.
You can sign-up for our 14 day free trial to try it out yourself.