Re-imagining Good Work: Remote & Hybrid Working principles for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Wright, Adrian orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2803-212X, Smith, Susan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3152-2149 and Wibberley, Gemma orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7827-8227 (2021) Re-imagining Good Work: Remote & Hybrid Working principles for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Other. UNSPECIFIED.

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This document outlines six practical principles to support remote and hybrid working. Hybrid working refers to a blended approach of ‘at’ the site of the workplace and offsite, eg working from home. Remote working typically refers to working offsite which, during the pandemic, has been largely at home. Small and medium sized enterprise (SMEs) who operate in the northern regions were facing huge financial and productivity challenges long before the pandemic occurred, therefore these principles have been developed to support productivity and the health and wellbeing of employees. With over half of employees in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber region working in typically office-based environments and now being asked to work from home or engage in hybrid working, there is a significant lack of good home working practices for four million northern remote workers. The same is true for hybrid forms of working. These principles are underpinned with rigorous research, which examined the impact of the pandemic on SMEs, as part of the ‘Phoenix Project’. This project was carried out by the Centre for SME Development (Professor Sue Smith), the Institute for Research into Organisations, Work and Employment (Dr Adrian Wright and Dr Gemma Wibberley) and the Research Centre for Business, Management and Enterprise (Professor Phil Whyman and Dr Alina Petrescu), at the University of Central Lancashire. We engaged with representatives from organisations such as ACAS, CIPD, Trade Unions, Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Federation of Small Businesses, Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, NP11 Growth Hubs, alongside colleagues from our partner Universities (see page 10) while designing these principles. The principles are presented individually but they overlap and interact with each other and are designed to be common sense. To get the best from this guide, think through what each principle means for you and your business and what is in your gift to be able to do. We hope you find these principles informative and useful.

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