This study contributes to the wider understanding of the expectations and support needs of employees in different contexts and seeks to provide valuable insights for employers to develop the duty of care aspects of a hybrid working strategy. However, with the working patterns continuing to evolve at a rapid pace, it remains equally important for organizations to continue to learn from their workforce through regular stakeholder feedback and expect to adapt their remote work strategy once introduced.

Download the report for findings, including insights from Marc Burrows, Head of Global Mobility Services, KPMG International.


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Managing Duty of Care for Employee Wellbeing

within a Hybrid Workforce

The International SOS Foundation commissioned Affinity Health at Work, led by Professor Dr Rachel Lewis, to undertake a global research on managing Duty of Care for wellbeing within a hybrid workforce. Affinity Health at Work, a specialist consultancy and research group, was contracted by the WHO Steering Group to perform the supporting evidence work for WHO guidelines on mental health at work, recently published in September 2022.

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The trend towards remote working has been accelerated by the pandemic, location-flexible working has become a valuable means to better combine personal and professional aspirations for many.

Location flexibility is now one of the decisive factors in the choice of the employer and a competitive advantage in attracting scarce talent. While employees’ expectations of the level of flexibility afforded to them are rising, organizations’ duty of care responsibilities are also increasing in complexity. It’s no longer just about working from home for a few days, but also across borders, from vacation spots or from friends’ or family’s homes around the world. As such, organizations actively embracing the new ways of working stand to gain a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent.

For all its advantages, implementing flexible working does not come without certain challenges. There is no one-size-fits-all or best-practice strategy which could be easily replicated across all workplaces.

On the one hand, any remote working policies or frameworks need to align with the organization’s culture, its business model, and its strategic goals. On the other hand, they are most effective when tailored to the employees’ specific needs and their individual circumstances, ranging from single parents and caregivers to dual-career couples, whilst acknowledging differing needs across generations and cultures.

Once developed, another challenge lies in the implementation of the remote working frameworks and management of a dispersed workforce. This requires careful planning and design of measures that ensure health and well-being needs of staff continue to be met, allowing the employer to exercise their duty of care in a remote working environment.

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Marc Burrows

Head of Global Mobility Services, KPMG International

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