Addressing challenges to remote and hybrid working in public organisations

People in Government Lab publication
Abstract

The People in Government Lab’s policy report Addressing challenges to remote and hybrid working in public organisations presents the results of a survey conducted in several public organisations in three countries – Brazil, Chile and the United Kingdom. It provides insights into improving remote and hybrid working inside governments. 

The forced adoption of remote and hybrid working in public organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic is a people management innovation that will reverberate for years to come. Understanding the need to gather evidence that helps governments improve remote and hybrid work, the policy report addresses four broad questions:  

  • How do remote and hybrid work impact public servants in particular?  
  • What are the challenges it poses to public organisations? 
  • Which groups are more affected by these challenges?  
  • How can governments ensure the success of teleworking? 

The policy report discusses four main findings focused on the challenges faced by public servants when teleworking during the pandemic. First, most respondents are satisfied with remote and hybrid work, but relational and work-life balance challenges clearly emerged. Second, established regulatory frameworks and teleworking policies affected respondents’ previous teleworking exposure and their remote and hybrid work experience. Third, respondents who were less educated, female or non-managers had substantially less remote work experience and these groups needed to adapt more quickly. And fourth, managers and younger public servants faced more challenges teleworking during the pandemic than non-managers and older public servants. 

Given these findings, the policy report proposes a set of evidence-based recommendations – looking at regulatory frameworks, policies, and managerial practices - to improve remote and hybrid working in the public sector. Recommendations range from strengthening leadership skills and team practices to improving induction for new recruits, and from enacting supportive systems for well-being purposes to improving public servants’ planning and time management skills. 

The findings of this report will be presented at the PeopleGov international conference on 15 July.

DOI: 10.35489/BSG-PEOPLEGOV-RP_2022/002