` How reward strategy can support a hybrid working model | Reward and Employee Benefits Association (REBA)
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20 Dec 2021
by Andrew Woolnough

How reward strategy can support a hybrid working model

Hybrid working is predicted to be new normal for office workers once the Government stops advising home working where possible. But there are significant challenges involved in moving to a hybrid working model.

 

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Not only do employers need to work out how best to support hybrid workers, to avoid the emergence of a dangerous schism between them and us, they also have to ensure those unable or unwilling to work remotely feel their needs are being equally met.

Anu Madgavkar, a partner with the McKinsey Global Institute told the BBC that “around 50% to 60% of work across different occupations needs to be done in a site-specific way”, and this is not always sector dependent. IT workers, for example, are often needed in the office full time even if the rest of the workforce can do their jobs from home.

Remote working is also not for everyone, but allowing people to choose to come into the office full time risks creating another divide if spending more time on site interacting with superiors boosts their chances of receiving promotions and pay rises.

So, how can employers ensure all workers have the necessary support, while avoiding different working models causing inequality and resentment?

Digital access

According to the CIPD research, four in 10 employers expect more than half their employees to work from home on a regular basis post Covid-19, but remote workers can feel disconnected and out of the loop.

One way to tackle this is to ensure equality of access to employee benefits by investing in a Total Reward platform your people access, wherever they are based. At a higher level, having a clear Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is also an important part of ensuring staff appreciate what’s on offer.

Flexible benefits

Whatever their role and working conditions, employees value benefits that demonstrate they are important members of the team. For those working more remotely, these could include utility discounts such as employer-sponsored broadband contracts and professional development programmes.

For on-site workers, meanwhile, it’s crucial to maintain the availability of benefits such as cycle-to-work schemes and transport loans, even if take up falls overall.

The design and specification of key benefits such as PMI should also be reviewed to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

Cost analysis

Fewer on-site workers mean lower costs for most employers. So, it’s good to see many companies diverting some of these savings into better equipment for home workers; CIPD figures show that half (51%) of UK companies have upped the quantity of laptops and computers available to those working remotely.

We believe that a versatile benefits strategy should also be an investment priority for companies who need to support their workforces through a move to a hybrid working model. However, it’s not always easy to make the argument for investments of this kind so data analysis must be conducted to present the value of employee wellbeing in the boardroom.

Andrew Woolnough is director at EQ HR Solutions

This article was provided by EQ HR Solutions

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