Consistency of approach to hybrid working, within the broader context of flexible-work-by-default, enables the Public Service to provide ongoing assurance that it delivers high-quality services to New Zealanders. In many cases, these services need to be, and will continue to be, delivered in person. 

The Public Service Act 2020 provides a legislative framework to enable a more adaptive and collaborative Public Service.

This guidance seeks to move beyond the ad hoc and reactive approaches to hybrid working during the COVID-19 response and towards a more consistent and predictable work experience for public servants that enables them to thrive and do their very best work in service of New Zealanders. 

Hybrid working covers situations where people work some of their time at home, and some of their time in the office. Agencies may also choose to apply this guidance to situations where team members regularly work some or all the time in different regional locations to each other.

There are potential benefits to implementing a consistent approach to hybrid working in the Public Service. These include enhancing our ability to provide services in New Zealand’s regions and attracting and retaining great staff. Hybrid working also offers greater ability for agencies to support the Māori Crown relationship by employing more Māori staff around the motu.

Agencies are not required to develop a hybrid working policy but are expected to use this guidance to inform their approaches to hybrid working. They can create a specific policy if they wish, update their flexible working policies, or choose to apply the guidance in how they manage hybrid working.

This guidance is based on the professional and academic literature about hybrid working. It is also informed by the experiences of public and private organisations in Aotearoa and overseas. The guidance will evolve over time as our knowledge and experience of hybrid working grows. Te Kawa Mataaho will review the guidance in late 2023 to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

The guidance is structured in 2 main sections: a quick guide at the front, then more detail in the second section. Some tools to assist with managing hybrid working are in the appendices.

Te Kawa Mataaho would like to thank all of those public and private sector organisations that contributed to the development of this guidance. In particular, we acknowledge the support of the Public Service Association | Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi and the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum.