Over these last few years, remote and hybrid working has become the new normal. But it’s not as simple as it might sound.

For employers, there are lots of considerations. At vivoHR we know how hard it is to keep all the plates spinning when taking care of your staff and running your business. So, if this is now your intended forever “business as usual”, here are a few of the key things you need to know about how to manage your remote and hybrid workers well.

Benefits of Remote and Hybrid Working

Since the pandemic meant that most employees had to work from home, more and more people have found that not going into the office – whether that’s for part of the week or not at all – has given them more flexibility and helped to create a better work-life balance.

Here are just a few of the big reasons employees in the UK have liked hybrid working:

  • Savings on commuting time and costs
  • More time for family and friends
  • Better focus due to fewer distractions
  • Flexibility to attend daytime appointments or events
  • Increased wellbeing
  • Fewer childcare worries

For employers, there have been benefits too, whether fewer absences (someone with a rotten cold might be happy to work from home in their pyjamas – although of course we are ever mindful of not encouraging presenteeism when bed rest is required!) or reduced costs of running business premises.

Legal and Compliance Considerations

Remote and hybrid working also presents challenges and there are a number of considerations to make.  It’s important to stay up to date on the legal and compliance essentials for staff who are working remotely. Don’t miss our regular newsletter for any legal updates.

Health and Safety

Employers may have the same Health and Safety responsibilities for employees working in the office and those working remotely if the remote location is the regular place of work. Risk Assessments should be carried out for ALL remote and hybrid workers. This includes assessing the risks of stress and poor mental health, not just the more well-known ones about using equipment like computers and laptops and about the working environment. An ergonomic workstation assessment should be completed, and all remote workers should be aware of safe – and best – practices.

The UK Government Health and Safety Executive have provided a comprehensive guide on Managing Home Workers’ Health and Safety.

Data Protection and Security Concerns

Employers are responsible for making sure that remote workers are complying with Data Protection laws. This includes making sure appropriate security measures are in place for handling data. Many employers will need to provide employees with computers and software to ensure data is stored securely. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is recommended, especially when using a non-secured network. Some locations are simply unsuitable for remote working. For example, working in a public space creates both a difficulty in maintaining confidentiality and a potential cybersecurity risk, a definite concern for companies dealing with sensitive data.

Contract Management

During the pandemic, the obligation to work in the office was suspended but now employers do have the right to ‘enforce’ staff to return to the office if it’s specified as the employee’s usual place of work in their contract. If no location is specified, then the employer cannot force an employee to come into the office. Staff who are contracted to work in the office but would like to work remotely or in a hybrid capacity must make a formal request.

Flexible Working Requests

Employees have the legal right to request flexible working. This means employees can request changes to:

  • the number of hours they work
  • start or finish times
  • the days they work
  • where they work

As of 6th April 2024, employees can request flexible working from their very first day in a new job. (Previously an individual needed to be employed by the same employer for 26 weeks to be eligible to make a request.) Learn more about flexible working, how your employees can make a request, and the process for reviewing and rejecting requests on gov.uk or ask us.

Employers must deal with requests in a ‘reasonable manner’. This means assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the request, having a meeting with the employee to discuss the matter, and also offering an appeal process if refusing the request. 

Tax and National Insurance

Employers who are providing homeworking expenses for their employees have Tax, National Insurance and Reporting obligations.

Policy Development

A Remote and Hybrid Working Policy is designed to provide guidance for employees on how and when they can work outside the office. This might include communication requirements and cybersecurity procedures. A policy is helpful for both employers and employees as it provides clear instructions to all and means that management are working from an agreed strategy. If you don’t currently have such a policy but think you might like one, let us know!

Working Remotely Abroad

It sounds like a dream scenario to work from the beach or looking out at an incredible view, but it isn’t always suitable. Working remotely abroad can create tax, social security and other legal consequences, as well as security concerns for the organisation. It can work in some circumstances, but the various implications need careful consideration.

Wellbeing and Development Considerations

Aside from legal requirements, it’s important to create a positive and productive remote working environment by making the wellbeing of remote workers a priority, and remaining flexible and adaptive in response to the evolving needs and challenges of all your employees.

It’s important as an employer to set boundaries. Managers shouldn’t expect constant availability from team members. Ideally they themselves should also work within specified working hours to encourage staff to do the same.

Mental Health Support

Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation and stress. Regular check-ins and open communication are essential, and check-ins should be scheduled so that they don’t get missed. Consider offering an Employee Assistance Programme and make sure that this is accessible for office-based and remote staff. (If you don’t know what that is, we can help!)

Communication, Social Connection and Team Building

It’s important to create and maintain an open dialogue with remote workers, despite not regularly seeing them in person, to ensure you are supporting them in the correct ways and are aware of their needs.

Communication between remote and office-based employees – when you have a mix – should be supported so that there isn’t a divide in the teams. Could you arrange a fun online event? A quiz or a cook-along, something that brings people together?

Training and Development

Remote and hybrid staff need to receive ongoing training just as much as on-site staff. Online learning platforms and virtual workshops are a great way to ensure everyone completes any required training.


KPIs are an important way of managing your employees’ performance. Good KPIs for remote workers could be task competition, response times, revenue generated and quality of work.


When you have staff who are home-based, whether that is every day or for some of the days each week, you want them to feel included, supported and valued. Just because someone is a ‘remote worker’, you don’t want them to feel remote – like a satellite orbiting the main company, far off in space where no one can hear them! Making sure they feel part of the company will help them to remain engaged, motivated and productive. Building a strong sense of belonging will create a supportive and inclusive workplace where every individual thrives.

Managing remote and hybrid staff can be a juggling act. vivoHR can offer advice and support on everything you need to look after your staff. Contact us on 01252 757359 or drop us an email at hello@vivohr.co.uk.

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