open navigation close navigation Menu
Hybrid Working Model

How Reward Strategy Can Support A Hybrid Working Model

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

By Andrew Woolnough, Director, EQ HR Solutions

Hybrid working has been widely hailed as the “new normal” for office workers, especially now that the Government has removed the advice to work from home where possible. But there are challenges involved for businesses in moving to a hybrid working model.

Andrew Woolnough Andrew Woolnough Director, EQ HR Solutions

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

So, how can employers ensure all employees have the necessary support regardless of where they are situated?

One component is to have a joined-up reward strategy. This can provide a wide range of benefits and ensure employee wellbeing across the board.

Digital access

Some four in 10 employers expect more than half their employees to work from home regularly post COVID-19, according to the CIPD.[ii] But over time, some remote employees can feel disconnected from the broader organisation.

One way employers could tackle this is to ensure equal access to employee benefits. By investing in a Total Reward platform, employers can ensure all employees can access the benefits available to them – from wellbeing apps to discount schemes – 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

In my experience, employees value benefits that demonstrate they are essential team members. Employers could offer utility discounts for remote workers, such as employer-sponsored broadband contracts offering the bandwidth they need to do their jobs effectively. Or professional development programmes to help them keep pace with the changing working world.

Meanwhile, it’s crucial for on-site employees 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 Private Medical Insurance should also be reviewed to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

As Paul Roberts, Senior Consultant at IHC, says: “Hybrid working has pushed wellbeing to the front and centre of employee interest, prompting a 30% uplift in the usage of benefits such as helplines and remote GP services.

“Capturing this requires a fresh review of benefits that support, care, and coach employees to stay well.”

Cost analysis

A versatile benefits strategy can make a strong case for companies who need to support their workforces move to a hybrid working model, and at EQ we have designed a data analysis tool to help you present the value of employee wellbeing as facts and figures.

*This article was written for, and features in REBA, January 2021

[i] The case against hybrid work, BBC, August 2021

[ii] Embedding new ways of working, CIPD, September 2020