The new way of working isn’t necessarily new! – by Mike Seaman

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One of the (few) positive side effects of the pandemic seems to be a new openness from employers around flexible working culture and I hope that this continues as we emerge from lockdown. There has been a lot of coverage in the news over the last few weeks about a shift in static office based employment versus a more flexible and dynamic way of treating staff. We’ve been operating a flexible working policy for the last 4 years and I think it is one of the main foundations of our success. We are ‘accountability based’ and not ‘hours based’ which means that as long as you do your job well, then we don’t mind when, where or how you do it.

A high percentage of our team are working parents who fit their job around their role as parents. We also have lots of fitness enthusiasts who like to take exercise during the daylight hours. I believe that allowing those people to perhaps take a walk in the hills on a sunny day or leave to watch the school play makes staff happier and more effective in the workplace. We have built a business that feels like a family on the back of this principle and it’s something that we are very proud of.

For our business, technology makes it easy to work from anywhere and to monitor outputs so perhaps we don’t need an office at all? My view is that the office is still essential but it’s purpose has changed. Remote working is efficient and transactional but having your team together in one place inspires creativity, facilitates learning and  builds culture. We allow our employees to choose the days they come in and they tend to do so in clusters to be with their local teams or their friends. I believe that the office days often have softer outputs than the days working from home but we value both as equally important. There is certainly power in allowing a mix of hyper-productivity at home, combined with a social and collaborative approach in the office.

As employers, we believe that maintaining an office is very important as we don’t want to presume that someone has a suitable working environment at home. However, if you want to work from home a few days a week, that is fine by us! As I said at the beginning – as long as you do your job well, we don’t mind when, where or how you do it! I think it is important for other employers to recognise that, for the most part, if you treat staff with respect and as the adults they are, then the rewards will follow. I think we may be saying goodbye to a very prescriptive and controlling way of working and instead adopting a more grown up, healthier approach to our working lives. It has certainly proved very successful for us.


Sound good? We are hiring so why not come and join the family: