Hybrid Working Policy September 2021

Hybrid working is a form of flexible working that allows employees to split their time between their workplace(s) and working remotely from that workplace, usually from home.
It can help to support a positive work-life balance; can open opportunities to hire individuals over a wider geographical area and offers a way for employees and their managers to agree working arrangements that meet both individual and business needs.
Hybrid working is not the same as flexible working, which is a formal process to vary your working hours, days or location and is covered under the Company’s Flexible Working Policy.
We’ve tried to keep this policy as simple as possible, but if there’s anything you don’t understand, please talk to your manager or to the People Team who will be happy to take you through it.
This policy sets out the conditions that will apply to hybrid working. If you work under hybrid arrangements, you must comply with this policy.
This policy applies to all employees. It does not apply to agency workers nor self-employed contractors.
This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and we may amend it at any time.
Those who work in hybrid roles, either permanently or for a fixed period, will work remotely for all or part of their working week. Any request to work remotely must meet the needs of our business as well as the individual’s needs. The types of roles that are not suitable for hybrid working are:
• Roles that require you to be present at your place of work, e.g. civils operatives; civils supervision and management; build support; cleaners and receptionists.
• Roles where face-to-face contact and personal relationships are essential, e.g. some sales and wayleaves roles.
The types of roles that may be suitable for hybrid working are:
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• Roles that require some personal interaction with colleagues and other departments on a regular basis.
• Roles where some work can be carried out remotely but some work must be carried out in the workplace.
• Roles where regular meetings are required away from the office and commuting either side of such meetings to the employee’s designated office may represent a waste of productive time.
Your manager will agree with you whether you can work remotely and the conditions, e.g. working days and working hours. It may be that you work remotely on set days each week, or you may agree to take a more flexible approach where these days may change. This will depend on:
• The nature of the role
• What is happening within the role and the team at any particular time
• Business needs, including space that we may have available at the Company’s offices
• Individual circumstances.
If you work remotely you should show that you:
• can work independently and on your own initiative;
• have a suitable environment for remote working;
• have a suitable available high-speed broadband connection;
• can work in accordance with the core hours agreed with your manager;
• can motivate yourself and manage your workload effectively;
• can complete tasks and projects to the right quality within set deadlines.
You must also:
• keep in regular contact with our offices and colleagues and ensure that your Outlook calendar is kept up to date with your daily location;
• comply with Zzoomm’s procedures for reporting sickness and other absence and requesting annual leave;
• attend in person one-to-ones, team meetings and other meetings and training in person as required.
It is expected that any hybrid working arrangements operate on the basis that you will need to be flexible to meet the needs of the business. This could include a requirement to attend work in addition to any agreed schedule to meet a particular business need, to support colleagues, to provide cover for absent colleagues or in response to an unexpected event.
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There may be additional local requirements in each department for employees carrying out their duties remotely, depending upon the nature of the work. You should discuss and agree these in advance with the manager.
Hybrid working arrangements are agreed on the understanding that they do not change your terms and conditions of employment and they may be withdrawn in with business needs upon providing reasonable notice to you.
Any travel to your contractual location is not eligible for expense reimbursement. Travel to a different Company location will be eligible for expense reimbursement in line with our expenses policy.
If you wish to change your working arrangements, you should put a request for hybrid working in writing to your manager. Any request should clearly state:
• the changes you wish to make to your working arrangements;
• the effect that the changes would have on your team and the business and how you
would reduce any negative impact;
• the proposed start date for any changes;
• any other information that is relevant to the request.
Your manager will discuss this request with you before deciding whether it can be accommodated.
All managers should ensure that:
• in granting requests for hybrid working, this does not over-burden other team members;
• there is adequate contact and communication with remote employees;
• any potential risks associated with remote working are considered, such as ensuring that
DSE checks are up-to-date.
If you agree a hybrid working arrangement with your manager, you may not have an allocated desk in one of Zzoomm’s offices and may need to “hot-desk” when you attend the office. If this is the case, you must follow the processes in place at the office to ensure that there is a desk for you to work at when you attend the office.
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It is your responsibility to ensure that you are familiar with the procedures of the office that you are working in and that you have made appropriate arrangements in advance of your arrival at the office.
Equipment required to enable you to work effectively remotely will usually be provided by Zzoomm and will remain the property of the company. The equipment required will vary from case to case but may include a laptop, tablet, mobile/smart phone or a combination of these. Where equipment is provided you must:
• take reasonable care of it and ensure its security;
• use it only in accordance with any operating instructions;
• return it to us when requested;
• use it in accordance with any existing company policies, including but not limited to the IT
and communication systems policy and the data protection policy.
We are not responsible for associated costs you may incur working remotely including the costs of heating, lighting, electricity, broadband or communications.
You must keep all equipment and information securely and treat it in the same way at your remote location as if you were in the office. You should take all necessary steps to ensure that private and confidential material is kept secure at all times. Your manager must be satisfied that all reasonable precautions are being taken to maintain confidentiality of material in accordance with our requirements.
You may only use equipment which has been provided by or authorised by us. You agree to comply with our instructions relating to software security and to implement all updates to equipment as soon as you are requested to do so.
You confirm that you have read and understood Company policies relating to IT and communication systems, social media, data protection, and that you will regularly keep yourself informed of the most current version of these policies.
If you discover or suspect that there has been an incident involving the security of information relating to the company, clients, customers or anyone working with or for the company, you must report it immediately to your manager.
When working remotely both you and the company have the same health and safety duties as you would have when working at the company’s offices.
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You must take reasonable care of your own health and safety and that of anyone else who might be affected by your actions and omissions. You must read Company health & safety policy and must use Company equipment safely.
Zzoomm’s responsibility for employee welfare remains in place regardless of work location. Therefore, for health and safety reasons, we retain the right to check remote working areas for health and safety purposes. The need for such inspections will depend on the circumstances including the nature of the work undertaken.
You must not have meetings in your home with customers and must not give customers your home address or telephone number.
You must ensure that your working patterns and levels of work are not detrimental to your health and wellbeing.
You must use your knowledge, experience and training to identify and report any health and safety concerns to your manager.
Setting up your workstation correctly at your remote place of work is equally as important as when you are in the office, and the same principles apply. Your workstation includes your desk or table, chair, and PC or laptop. You will be required to complete a DSE assessment which will be sent to you via email from the Health & Safety department.
Tips for working on a PC or laptop remotely:
• Make sure your screen is raised so that the top of the screen is at eye level. This can be done using an adjustable laptop stand, a box or some books if necessary.
• Use a separate keyboard and mouse. This enables the laptop screen to be positioned correctly.
• If you feel discomfort, report it to your manager as soon as you notice it.
• Adjust your chair height. Your arms should be at right angles, with forearms lightly
supported by the work surface. You may need a footrest if your feet are not firmly on the
• Make sure the lower back is well supported. Support for your lower back will help
encourage good posture. You can use a folded towel to give you more support or
consider a back-support cushion if needed.
• Take regular, short breaks: move around for five or ten minutes every hour, aiming for
frequent, short breaks. Consider taking microbreaks to stretch, move around, change activity by taking a phone call, do some reading or get a drink to avoid prolonged static postures. Take more frequent breaks if your DSE setup is not optimal or if you are experiencing discomfort.
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Try to avoid:
• using phones or tablets for a long time;
• sitting on unsupportive seating such as a sofa;
• static postures.
Whilst it may seem easier to simply open the laptop and start working without making any adjustments, this can lead to poor posture, which can cause pain and discomfort over time. It is well worth taking a couple of minutes to set up your workstation correctly each time you sit down to work.
The following are in place to support remote workers with “lone working,”:
• regular one-to-one meetings between you and your manager;
• regular meetings between you and your co-workers;
• the opportunity for you to come into the office for team meetings and other meetings
with employees at the office;
• access to information, such as policies and essential files through remote access to
Company server and IT systems;
• remote access to IT colleagues for support in dealing with software problems and
equipment failures;
• on meetings, tele- or videoconferencing;
• ad hoc out-of-work social occasions and celebrations.
Accidents, near misses and incidents of ill health when working remotely should all be reported to your manager as soon as is practicable, in line with the health and safety and sickness absence policies.
It is your responsibility to check with your home insurer and/or mortgage provider or landlord that there are no issues with your working from home if your home is your remote place of work.
If any issues arise, you must contact your manager, in writing, immediately.
There may be occasions where short-term changes to working arrangements may help you to achieve a better work-life balance and meet both your obligations to the Company and commitments outside of work.
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You can request the following hybrid working arrangements for up to 4 weeks in any 12-month period based on your role and the needs of the business and your colleagues:
• working elsewhere – working at another location, which is not your usual remote location, home or contractual location.
• temporary adjustment to start/finish times – changing when you start or finish work each day.
• temporary change to working days – if you are part-time, changing the days that you work.
• reduced working hours – reducing the number of hours that you work, with the corresponding reduction in pay. Alternatively, you may use up to 4 days of annual leave to reduce your working hours.
• work from another Company location – working at another Company office which is not your contractual location.
If you would like your manager to consider a temporary change to your working arrangements, you should discuss your request with them as far in advance as possible, outlining how you will continue to meet your role requirements and minimise any impact that this may have on the business and your colleagues.
When considering your request, your manager will take into account:
• your ability to continue to meet the demands of your role;
• the impact on your colleagues and other stakeholders, such as customers and external
• your performance and self-motivation;
• the tools needed to carry out your role;
• data protection and security implications that may be affected;
• any other requests for hybrid working that have already been approved.
If we agree short-term arrangements in one year, it is not a guarantee that we will agree to changes in another year. Each request will be considered based on the circumstances at the time.