Birkett Long has announced the introduction of a new hybrid working model that will take effect once government Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. The new working model will enable all staff to work from home for up to 40% of their working week. This change comes as a welcome addition to the existing flexitime working arrangements.
Like so many businesses since the start of the pandemic, Birkett Long’s workforce has largely been working from home. Prior to March 2020, this provision was very limited. The firm’s I.T team responded quickly and comprehensively to unforeseen and unprecedented restrictions, facilitating and supporting 149 staff to work from home both instantaneously and effectively.
Mark Davidson, Head of IT said: “The transition has not come without its challenges but with investment in technology and additional training for all staff we have been able to overcome these. This has not only sustained, but on occasion considerably improved, our client service levels.”
The introduction of remote working also started an initiative to drastically reduce the amount of printing the firm do. Nearly sixty printers were removed across three offices and the remaining printers were replaced with power-efficient devices. The impact has been an 80% reduction in the amount of paper consumption. Just as importantly this has improved the firm’s client service by the routine sending of documents electronically, meaning information is received more quickly.
The firm’s HR team kept in regular communication with all employees throughout lockdown to not only ensure their wellbeing but to regularly gather their views in an ever-changing and uncertain world. Staff surveys identified a clear preference to have a hybrid working environment going forward. The firm listened to their workforce and introduced the new arrangements which will allow all employees to have the flexibility to work remotely for part of the week if they wish.
The hybrid working model will offer individuals and teams a flexible, appealing and dynamic way of working. Teams will work together to agree on how they will make this work for them ensuring they have time together to work collaboratively whilst still maintaining client service standards.
The firm have recognised staff are looking for a more flexible working arrangement both in working location and working hours and staff have experienced the positive effects of not having to attend the office daily. In addition, the current flexitime scheme enables employees to work flexibly around core hours. The firm believe this type of arrangement not only offers a greater work-life balance, but improves an individual’s overall wellbeing and, for many, there is a large financial saving.
Joann Kebbell (pictured), Head of HR said: “We are delighted to announce our new hybrid working model. We recognise that if we are to remain competitive in retaining and attracting the best talent then we will need to offer greater flexibility. We believe this model alongside our current flexitime policy achieves this.”
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