In a recent research paper published by the Corporate Research Forum (CRF), an international membership organisation focusing on research and discussion of topics and challenges related to people management, International HR Services Senior Associate Furat Ashraf provides commentary on a number of employment hot topics:
- Business protection: “With more and more employees now working remotely or otherwise between home and the office, the risk of employees (whether intentionally or otherwise) acting in breach of their duty to protect their employer’s confidential information and trade secrets has increased. Employers should take proactive steps to audit their existing employment contracts and policies to ensure that these reflect the realities of remote and hybrid work.”
- Performance management: “As the report highlights, one of the key challenges faced by businesses that have implemented flexible working policies is how best to manage and supervise employees that are working away from the office. Employers may need to consider adjusting existing KPIs and appraisal objectives to place a greater emphasis on results-based achievement going forward, since day-to-day activities and work levels are likely to be much less visible to line managers when employees are working remotely.”
- Employee misconduct: “Employee misconduct has also taken on a new face in the virtual work environment. During the pandemic, the rapid digitalisation of the workplace saw the introduction of multiple informal channels of communication which has led to a sharp rise in employee complaints relating to workplace harassment and bullying online.”
- Equality of treatment: “Employers should be mindful of the risk of claims for indirect discrimination when treating employees working remotely differently to those based in the office. Where discrepancies do arise, it may become necessary for organisations to standardise certain processes and procedures that they have until now been able to undertake relatively informally at the office”
- Mental health and wellbeing: “While employees now spend less time commuting to the office, freeing up extra time in their days to spend with family, the flipside is that employees are finding it harder than ever to switch off, with their work inboxes always just within reach. The increased reliance on digital technologies in the workplace has strengthened the ‘always on’ culture and has further blurred work-life boundaries. Poorly managed homeworking arrangements can contribute to hidden overtime and working time issues, as well as mental health and wellbeing concerns.”
You can read the executive summary of the report here. A number of the team’s Workforce of the Future resources are also referenced in the paper, including our Business Protection in a Covid-impacted World article, Employers of record contingent workers Heatmap, and Working from Anywhere and the Global Employment Market webinar.
If you are interested in CRF membership to gain access to all their research and network of 230+ member organisations, please contact Melissa Bull.
For further information, please contact:
Ian Hunter, Partner, Bird & Bird