Hybrid Work Policy: How To Create It (Template and Examples)
Many companies are finding flexible work arrangements to attract and retain talent.
These arrangements can consist of work-life practices that allow employees to work from a location away from the office and part-time, job sharing, etc. Flexible work policies can effectively attract talent, competitively differentiate a company from others, and increase workplace engagement. But with that comes the challenge of enforcing hybrid rules and creating hybrid policies for employees and management to work efficiently and smoothly.
We will be covering how to create a hybrid and remote work policy, along with giving you a free template that you can customize as per your company's rules, processes, and benefits in this article.
📝 What's a hybrid, remote, or flexible work policy?
A hybrid, remote, or flexible company work culture defines the amount of freedom your people have when it comes to
- Work location
- Working hours
- ...and anything else related to hybrid work.
Remote work policy: The policy states management's expectations for remote employees. It includes the working hours expected, legal working conditions, cybersecurity requirements, and so on. Plus, it contains employees' legal rights and company benefits, etc.
Hybrid work policy: Is basically the same, but also includes all info related to office usage - think desk-booking, a minimum amount of days people should be in the office, and so on.
Flexible work policy: Same as above. Flexible refers to 1) the level of freedom employees have when setting their working hours - and 2) the freedom to choose a location.
In practice, you can use all these terms interchangeably.
The idea of a work-from-anywhere work policy is a dream for many and a reality for others. But, ever since the pandemic, it's an unavoidable practice that is leaving a clear mark on future working conditions.
❓ Why your company needs a hybrid (or remote) work policy
The work-anywhere/work-at-home model has emerged as a way to empower employees and as a key to help better manage demanding workloads. In a recent survey conducted by Accenture of 9,326 employees, 83% of the surveyors chose hybrid.
A report by Forbes shows 63% of high-performing companies have already enabled models to work from anywhere, anytime.
In contrast, most no-growth companies (69%) ask people to come to work physically.
There is no way around some sort of flexible arrangement for competitive organizations to get the best candidates and retain their employees.
There are, however, a few things you should take care of when introducing flexible work models, so you can be sure that everybody's on the same page and security risks are minimized.
📋 What to include in your policy (Template to use)
Here are a few sections that your template must include:
Policy brief and purpose
This section summarizes the policy's intent, function, and operation.
Example: [Company Name] 's flexible work policy outlines remote employees' work, security, and compliance expectations. The purpose of this remote work policy is to safeguard both employees' and the organization's interests by outlining the working conditions and expectations.
Answer: Who is eligible for this policy?
Example: This policy applies to any employee whose job duties allow it. However, positions that require direct physical contact with customers (like the sales floor) are not eligible to work from home. In addition, some extenuating circumstances may post exceptions when possible.
This section sets the work timings or the employee's time for all official communication.
Example: The employee should be available Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM on all office communication channels.
Working from home (or anywhere)
This section outlays the working condition expected when working remotely from the employee.
Team members may work from home:
- Part-time (dividing daily time between the office and home)
- On pre-determined days of the week
We want to give you the chance to perform at your best - no matter where you work from.
Remote work does, however, come with a few responsibilities. So please make sure to stay available.
We do reserve the right to revoke remote working rights in cases of repeated problems.
This section talks about the employee benefits or rights of the remote working candidate.
Example: The eligible employee under this policy working from anywhere gets the same benefits as an office-coming employee, along with an allowance for internet charges that can be availed from the HR department.
This section lists all the organization's communication channels to engage with team members, candidates, and vendors.
Example: All employees should use the following channels for all official engagements for which they will be granted access:
- Google mail
- Google Meet
The hardware and software the company provides are listed in this section.
Example: [Company Name] will provide xx laptop, a modem, keyboard, mouse, and internet for which the employee stated in the policy is responsible for security. The equipment needs to be password protected at all times.
Talk about the rules and regulations for the security of the company's data.
Example: Employee equipment should at all times be password protected. And all eligible candidates must sign the NDA agreement attached with this policy.
Compensations and benefits
This section outlays the remote working employee's incentives and other compensation benefits.
Example: The employee's compensation is determined by their role and KPI. Apart from that, all employees are eligible for learning and traveling compensation provided by the company.
Tips for effectively working from home to include
Maintain your morning routine
Just because you're not going into an office doesn't mean you should skip the things that ordinarily set you up for success. So wake up at the same time, and continue the routine that works for you.
Repurpose commute time for self-care
The average American commute is almost 27 minutes each way. Don't let this reclaimed time go to waste. If reading, meditating, journaling, or practicing yoga aren't currently part of your routine, now is a great time to try them out.
Dress for success
Just because you can get away with wearing your PJs doesn't mean you should. You may still interact with colleagues, partners, or customers via video. Plus, dressing comfortably yet professionally helps get you in the right mindset to stay productive.
Focus on nutrition
Maintain focus and energy by avoiding sugars, artificial ingredients, or empty calories. SnackNation's Work-From-Home Wellness Boxes contain a curated mix of healthier bars, chips, jerky, granola, trail mix, and sweets to keep you adequately fueled throughout your remote workdays.
Designate a dedicated workspace
Find an environment that fosters productivity. It should be quiet, comfortable, and free of distractions – and different from where you usually eat or relax.
Take time to go outside
Taking breaks is great for your focus and well-being. Recharge by walking around the block or stepping outside on a patio or balcony.
Conduct a decent amount of meetings
Set regular work hours
It can be especially easy to let your workday creep into early mornings and evenings while working remotely. Avoid this by setting work hours and sticking to them. Don't watch TV. Working near a television inhibits our ability to concentrate. Resist the urge to have the TV on, even if it's just for background noise.
Don't watch TV
Working near a television inhibits our ability to concentrate. So resist the urge to have the TV on, even if it's just for background noise.
🏢 5 Examples of remote and hybrid work policies
With the very definition of normality changing with the pandemic, working conditions and norms were redefined. But the business has to continue.
And if the company has to continue, regular hiring of new talents to tackle new conditions has to continue. And to support remote hiring and remote working, policies, rules, and regulations have to be set in place to ensure optimum efficiency and working conditions.
But what was more exciting was to see the innovative examples of remote and hybrid work policies that came out to help support employees' overall well-being while being stuck at home or, in other words, challenges brought on by the flexible work model.
Let's have a look.
1. Pledge to support my fellow IBMer's
You may have seen IBM's campaign on your social media feeds some time back. IBMers created it.
This grassroots initiative took shape in response to challenges employees have faced at home when trying to keep up with their work and need an extra hand to get anything done in the office or at home.
The #ISupport Fellow IBMer campaign's goal is to provide these very people with the assistance they need, which would otherwise take a backseat while navigating the new reality brought on by the pandemic.
2. GitLab's all-remote policy
GitLab is one of the largest all-remote and flexible work hours model companies, employing over 1500 members worldwide.
Here are some highlights from GitLab's all remote policy:
- Hiring and working are not limited centrally but rather from all over the world.
- Flexible working hours, meaning you can choose your work timings.
- All data must be written down, recorded, and shared for reporting.
- All training and work involve written processes.
- Provide need-to-know access for public sharing of information.
Google has opted for a hybrid work policy.
Under this new policy
- 60% of employees will work from campus,
- 20% from new offices,
- and 20% from home.
To accommodate this, Google has opted for the campfire method– where employees will sit in the conference room for meetings in a circular setting or campfire setting that include both physically present and remote meeting participants equally via various screens.
Before the pandemic hit, Facebook had plans to have most employees work from home. And with its onset, they seem to keep extending the all-remote work policy. However, post-pandemic Facebook - like Google - has decided to opt for a hybrid work model for its employees.
5. Microsoft's data-driven work from home policy
Microsoft plans to go for a hybrid model. But to ensure the highest level of productivity while the employees work from home, a data-driven policy will be created; for example, back-to-back meetings can be very exhausting. That is why Microsoft's hybrid work policy prohibits the scheduling of back-to-back meetings.
Sounds good, right?
📣 How to communicate your flexible work policy?
Setting up and getting the hybrid work policy signed by employees and management is not enough.
Make sure that people remember it. Make sure that they live it, so they don't have to feel insecure for taking that well-deserved time over after the notebook is closed.
To do so, follow this checklist:
- Don't just communicate the policy once. Run regular interval training sessions or set reminders regarding benefits or specific rules in the policy.
- Check in with employees if they have any issues and ask for their feedback regularly.
- Keep the general remote and hybrid policy available for everyone on a central knowledge base or on the employee portal to have 24/7 access.
- Keep the records of all agreements readily available to you for any employee queries.
- Live it. Help managers live it.
- Create separate channels for questions and answers so that any employee who has any query can ask through the channel or DM you directly.
We recommend publishing the hybrid working policy in a place that is accessible at all times.
Remote work is there to ensure that people have certain flexibility. That means it's okay to be unavailable to pick up the kids from school at certain times. And it's totally fine to get the door when it rings during a video call.
How your colleagues live the hybrid work policy will strongly affect general well-being.
➡️ Why set up your hybrid work policy on Zavvy?
With our journey builder - including a ready-to-use template for flexible work policies - you'll be able to set up an engaging hybrid work policy in minutes.
Why this is better than filling out a word doc?
- More engaging: By combining funny gifs and dynamic elements like quizzes or loom videos, you'll give your people an experience that doesn't feel like a punishment to complete.
- One place for all things training: This way, all your internal courses and SOPs are collected in one single place. From preboarding to compliance, resilience training, and more. No more time wasted searching for anything.
- Auto-assign, communicate and repeat: Things get lost in the inbox all the time - and sometimes they don't even make it to everyone's inbox as it's hard to keep track. Automatically assign it to every new hire, promote it via places like Slack or Microsoft Teams, and send regular reminders.