- Hybrid Working
- The benefits of HR software for the hybrid worker
One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic is the way it’s shifted people’s expectations of where and how they should be able to work.
The pros and cons of hybrid working has been doing the rounds for a while. Would people be productive? Could they still deliver without line of sight management?
Employers and their people faced a steep learning curve at the start of the pandemic. There was loneliness to contend with, an increased risk of burnout due to the newly blurred lines between home and work, onboarding new employees became a particular difficulty – all under a looming sense of uncertainty!
But overall, it worked out fine… mostly.
Technology had a huge role to play in how quickly companies could adapt to this new way of living and working. Remote workers could communicate and collaborate almost as if they were in the workplace. If the pandemic had hit even five years earlier, before the widespread adoption of video conferencing and cloud-delivered software, the result would’ve been less encouraging.
Today, government data suggests that up to 80% of employees are keen to hold onto the improved levels of work life balance they found during the pandemic, and employers are choosing to continue to use the tools available to make that possible whilst recapturing some of the things that were damaged – like personal connection and team culture – during those difficult two years.
This is where hybrid working comes in…
What is hybrid working?
As the name suggests, hybrid working allows people to split their time between the office and a remote location. Maybe their home, maybe the coffee shop, gym, park… or anywhere they feel they can be productive.
Hybrid isn’t new, but recent advances in communication and collaboration technology, plus the disruption of 2020 and 2021, have launched it into the mainstream and now upwards of three quarters of UK employers offer their people some form of hybrid working – something we at citrus HR embrace ourselves!
Whether hybrid is right or wrong for your small business is a question only you and your people can answer. There are a whole bunch of pros and cons, financial benefits and compliance implications that we discuss in this article: Pros and cons of the hybrid working model. It’s worth weighing up your options before introducing something like hybrid working – to make sure it’s right for your business.
But if you decide to offer hybrid working, HR software can take some of the pain out of the management and measurement requirements. Managing a hybrid business is a new challenge that represents another learning curve. As always, the software doesn’t do this work for you, but it does help you ensure the details don’t get lost and keeps everything in one place.
How does HR software benefit hybrid workers?
Tools like citrus HR are hosted in the cloud. This means people can log in from anywhere, provided they have the correct secure log in details and authentication information.
Calendar functionality means people’s office vs remote schedules are available to everyone, and teams can align their office days so they coincide, which is brilliant for collaborative working.
General tasks that would otherwise require a phone call to the HR manager or business owner, like booking holiday, logging sick days, or updating personal information, can be done remotely without adding to your business admin load.
Onboarding new people is one of the most challenging parts of running a successful hybrid setup. When more experienced colleagues are less accessible, it can be harder for newbies to pick up the knowledge they’ll need to become a valuable member of staff. With new starters working remotely, it’s easier for standardised onboarding processes to slip.
HR software ensures onboarding is as consistent and repeatable as possible by providing onboarding checklists and reminders for managers to ensure tasks like introductions, meetings, and training aren’t forgotten.
Assigning new starters their own profile in your HR software helps give them some ownership over an important aspect of their employment, as their profile is theirs to update and manage. As an employer, you can host employment and policy documents in the system so the employee always knows where to find important information such as their contract, holiday entitlement and the ability to update their details when needed.
In the absence of the daily, informal feedback your people receive when in the workplace, the performance management tools incorporated into most modern HR software systems take on greater significance.
citrus HR includes tools that enable consistent performance management to be delivered online. Digital appraisal processes and online self-assessment questionnaires combine with the ability to set goals for individuals and then actively monitor progress. People can check this information whenever they need a refresh on their personal objectives, ensuring expectations are always clear, even when they’re working remotely.
Monitor employee sentiment
How are your people feeling about work? Is your hybrid setup working for everyone? Are other aspects of people’s experience of work being impacted as a result? How happy are your people? The most effective way to find out what people think about these questions is to ask them.
Decent small business HR software should include the ability to run regular surveys among your people. Some tools enable faster pulse surveys, which allow you to fire out quick questions that people can answer anonymously, providing important feedback and insight on how the policies and systems you’ve established are working out for everyone.
When people feel heard, they are more likely to engage with their work, so asking your people for their feedback like this delivers an added bonus by making your team feel valued and heard. But surveys aren’t the only way to track how well your hybrid setup is working…
Track key HR data
Specially designed HR software for small businesses is popular with entrepreneurs and business owners because it consolidates all the tasks and information associated with people management in one place. This makes HR software the perfect tool for tracking key HR metrics.
The data in your system reveals the health and direction of your small business. As an employer, HR reports contain vital insights on how metrics like productivity, engagement, and absenteeism are trending over time. How has productivity shifted since you implemented hybrid working? Has there been any change in unplanned absence?
Software like citrus HR’s, specifically designed to be intuitive, time saving tools for small businesses, makes it easy to compare these numbers over time to diagnose problems and spot opportunities to improve efficiency and profitability.
citrus HR helps small businesses get to grips tricky HR admin and compliance burdens of running a small business, whether your people are in the workplace or working from home. With no contractual tie in – and backed by an in-house team of specialist HR advisers – we know we won’t be beaten on value or customer service. Try citrus HR free for 14 days.
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