Bristol businesses benefiting from Flexible Working

Bristol Business School

I was lucky to be able to attend an event at UWE Business School recently, focused on Flexible Working where speakers representing a number of businesses shared their stories and discussed their views on whether increasing flexible working help to close the gender pay gap.

12 March 2018


Debbie Wood, Head of People, Pelican Business Services

Pelican have introduced more flexibility after an increase in demand for it from existing staff, first of all they introduced a 'working parents group' who support each other and come up with ideas for improvements. Then they introduced more flexible working options for their staff.

Debbie told us they have reduced their costs due to increased retention, employee satisfaction has increased from 65% to 89%, they now source 25% of their new recruits from referrals and they have now placed with in the Times 100 best places to work. They are focused on having women in senior roles in their organisation, Debbie quoted a recent Telegraph article which shared research that Britain’s most successful companies have women in senior roles.

Alex Maier, Managing Director, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics

Alex has introduced flexible working with no core hours in his Bristol Development Lab, staff can take home working days and they can also book vacation without the need for approval. His view is that leaders need to lead and not focus on the 'punching in and out' of employees time. He has put key measurements in place and has found it's improved morale and productivity.

Jo Fairweather, Reward Manager, OVO Energy

OVO have a young employee base and have acknowledged that millennials demand more flex but they also recognise that offering more flexibility is better for everyone. They've introduced Flexitime with core hours of 10-4 with great results and surprisingly have introduced a home working pilot for the contact centre - we can't wait to hear the results.

Jade Edwards, Service Delivery Director, Consumer Intelligence

Consumer Intelligence have changed their focus on outputs rather than inputs, ensuring that KPI's are in place in order to provide focus. This has enabled them to allow their staff to work where they want to and where they are most effective, the staff are responsible and don't need to ask permission. They have put software in place to ensure this supports agile working. They have found it hugely successful.

Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice Chancellor of Bristol Business School shared her thoughts with us, in her view businesses need to rethink the way their view flexible working, to improve gender pay gap reporting and also to attract women into senior positions in organisations. Businesses need to consider how they reward and value their roles - she gave the recent example of Tesco Checkout workers vs. Tesco warehouse workers, being paid more due to biased view of differences in their roles.

It was fantastic to hear from all of these senior leaders about the ways of working they have put in place to focus on the well being of their employees, which has had a positive impact on their businesses.

Flexology are experts in Flexible Working and support our clients, with the consultancy side of our business by helping them to put in place effective flexible working, as well as by sourcing candidates for them. To celebrate the anniversary of our launch, one lucky business can win a day's free consultancy, get in touch to apply or call us on 0117 214 1224.