Hybrid working - creating resentment in those whose roles are office based

We are getting requests from staff whose roles are office based (such as front of house and facilities staff) and therefore cannot benefit from the reduction in travel costs, childcare costs that those who work from home can due to our hybrid working policy allowing staff whose roles are not office based the opportunity to work from home 80% of the time.  I understand some unions have raised this issue.  Have any organisation's made such payments and what was the basis upon which the calculations and payments were made.

  • Hi,

    I’m interested to hear what the Unions are saying on this.

    The nature of some roles are such that you have to work from an office location, and that’s just it.

    Maybe you can consider a one off payment / cost of living payment to those who work from the office, however you may find those who work from home will want similar to cover the extra cost of heating their home, using their internet etc. It’s a slippery slope and you’ll need to find a balance.
  • In reply to Nichola:

    Thank you for your contribution. The issues you have raised are exactly those that we have been dealing with, Some roles just cannot be delivered remotely. But it doesn't stop resentment from building in teams who feel that they, purely down the the nature of their job, are not able to take advantage of the flexibility of work and reduction of travel costs that those who work from home can. Having raised this question in other networks I understand that this issue is being raised more and more, so am interested how other organisations are responding,
  • In reply to Nichola:

    you can claim the £6/wk from HMRC if WFH - but not if it's the 'ees choice.
    We don't make any payments for heating/energy etc if employees wish to WFH
  • In reply to Marjorie James:

    All roles have swings and roundabouts and ultimately it is the individuals who choose the role. No-one is stopping them from retraining/changing jobs if they don't like the conditions that it comes with. We will arrange a taxi home for staff who finish past 11 pm. I don't get a taxi home because my job doesn't require me to work that late, but there is nothing stopping me giving up my role and retraining for the other, but then i'd have to accept that my pay was going to be lower.

    I think its really difficult to try and 'compensate' people for various things around their role as with Nichola's great example, people working from home don't have commuting costs, but they do have additional heating and lighting costs.
  • Just to add that benefits accrue from an increase in remote working even for those who cannot directly participate in it.

    There are fewer commuters, which makes traveling to work easier and more reliable. There are fewer cars on roads, which increases air quality and reduces wear and tear on roads, saving costs to local authorities that are passed on to tax payers (or which can be spent elsewhere on other infrastructure and community projects). There is less competition for limited parking spaces. Fewer people in the office creates less friction.

    There is enough pressure from invested bosses and commercial property owners (and, by extension, the politicians whose pockets they line) to force people back to the office with the unions getting involved as well. Any logical thought over the idea that people should be "compensated" for having a job that requires in-person attendance will only end up being switched to de-compensating those who work from home. We've already seen incidences of employers trying to reduce salaries by as much as 10-15% for those who work remotely. Unions risk cutting off their noses to spite their faces by trying to make an issue out of this when they should be putting employers under *more* pressure to invest in the infrastructure that makes remote working vastly easier and more productive for their entire business and which benefits their members far more than being manipulated into aligning themselves with the likes of Elon Musk.
  • Hi Marjorie,

    The same trade unions would be up in arms if companies decided that because some people cannot work from home nobody will.
  • Being fair doesn't mean treating everyone the same - are there other flexible working options that you can implement for the roles which aren't able to work from home?

    For example, our factory has moved to 4 day working, some support roles to a 9 day fortnight due to smaller teams. Instead of rotating shift patterns, we've changed to a standard dayshift pattern then introduced new part time roles around those hours which are static. This has meant those with childcare difficulties and those on the wind down to retirement have more options available. Office staff are able to work from home but not universally offered 4 day working (we're open to individual requests).

    Are there other ways you can meet business needs, whilst still offering some flexibility to those who need to be on site?
  • In reply to Kirsty:

    Hi Kirsty. I am really curious to find out how the 4 days week is working for the people on the shop floor and how did you manage the board to approve this?
  • I have just partnered with a company that has a brilliant system which works out for the employees and employer the best days for people to be in any particular location. It improves motivation, productivity and desk utilisation. Let me know if you want to know more.