While flexible working arrangements have reduced operational costs and improved workplace diversity, only 34 per cent of human resources professionals said their company has a formal policy explaining how hybrid work should be organized, according to a new survey by the HR Research Institute.

The survey, which polled almost 300 HR professionals, found 48 per cent of employers put managers in charge of dictating work arrangements for their individual teams, while 31 per cent allow employees to choose how much time they spend working onsite.

Read: Employers returning to office post-pandemic, but view flex work favourably: survey

Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of respondents said their organization was most likely to offer remote work, followed by hybrid work arrangements (65 per cent) and flex time (60 per cent). More than half (53 per cent) said improving employee retention is a primary reason to implement these new working arrangements, while 35 per cent said recruitment was a main driver.

And with an expected shift to project-based work, 36 per cent of employers said they expect to hire more contingent workers — including independent contractors, consultants and freelance employees — over the next two years. However, 42 per cent described their ability to manage these workers as “fair” or worse, compared to just 22 per cent who said they were “very good” at managing these workers. More than half (59 per cent) said their managers will receive more training over the next two years to better manage these workers.

Read: Canadian employees want short commutes, flex work post-pandemic: survey