Flexible working has become a critical part of many workplaces following the big changes to employment in the last few years.

Although it has become an established part of many roles, HR Caddy says that employers must continue to evaluate working arrangements to make sure they are fit for purpose.

The Midlands-based HR specialists say that many firms jumped to flexible working in response to the events of the pandemic and have continued on without reviewing whether their current policies and support are suited to their needs.

While flexible and hybrid working remain a popular incentive to retain and recruit employees, it must also make commercial sense for the companies that employ this approach.

“The move to home working and flexibility was born out of necessity, and we are still, to some degree, in a testing stage,” said Nicola Callaghan.

“Everyday employers face new challenges and complications created by flexible working approaches and they don’t always have immediate solutions due to  a general inexperience about this new approach to work.”

Nicola said that employers should regularly sit down and review their working arrangements, including engagement with different members of staff, to ensure that this new approach to work continues to benefit both their organisation and employees.

“We understand that some employers have concerns about withdrawing flexible working options from certain employees or teams as they fear disputes or claims of discrimination from their staff, but the reality is that if the business isn’t functioning properly these issues need to be addressed now,” she added.

While issues of discrimination were something that shouldn’t be ignored, employers needed to be clear where productivity is suffering or communication is affected.

HR Caddy said that businesses should be careful not to trade off certain benefits against others in pursuit of greater turnover or profits if other elements of their business suffer.

Nicola said: “Having spoken with many employers over the last few years, we can clearly see that many businesses out there are facing a real struggle to set pragmatic policies and practices when it comes to supporting flexibility, so it never hurts to get a second opinion if a change in policy or approach is needed.”

As well as discussing the realities for the business of adopting home and hybrid working, businesses must also communicate regularly with those working flexibly and remotely to ensure that they have the tools and support required to do their job effectively.

An “out of sight, out of mind” mentality was not an effective way to manage a team, Nicola added. If you need assistance reviewing and managing flexible work arrangements within your business, please contact us.