Adapting to Remote Working and the Impact on Businesses

By Helen Burrowes

HR Consultant

The last two years provided a test, as it were, for remote working. HR Grapevine, referred to these workplace changes as ‘the greatest workplace experiment in a century’. 

In response to the pandemic, businesses moved their people to working remotely, providing equipment and support to their employees to have them working safely and productively away from the office. 

With employees working remotely, this resulted in a change in the way that we communicated. Previously we would discuss tasks over the desks and results coordinated in this environment. We adapted to the new approach by training line managers on how to manage their teams remotely and used various methods and technologies to ensure their teams worked together and productivity was not impacted.

Businesses continue to develop their strategies to manage this change in the workplace, responding to the challenges in the labour market, increasing costs, and focusing on their people’s mental and physical health.

With the current labour market challenges, CIPD (the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) in their latest Labour Market Survey, report a continued high demand for workers as businesses continue to function, however, low supply of available workers remains a concern.

Businesses are using Hybrid working to their advantage by recruiting outside of their normal local market, offering a hybrid arrangement – which is a split of working at home and from the office. Nockolds HR have provided advice to clients in the form of Hybrid Working Policies, and additional clauses in Contracts to accommodate these changes, to support this more flexible approach to their workforce. 

Other factors contributing to labour shortages include changes to EU workers right to work in the UK that came into effect 1 January and end of June 2021. EU workers are now required to provide the right to work in the UK including having applied for pre-settlement/settled. For the company to employ an EU national the sponsorship route under the VISA system is a requirement. 

We also saw a migration of EU workers returning to their home countries during Covid, to be with their families. 

With more flexible approaches, including hybrid working, incorporated into the business practices, companies are able to increase the talent pool.

If you have any queries about how this impacts your business please do contact Nockolds HR on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.