Most employees have been working from home for the last 2 years, and whilst we are really excited to welcome everyone back to the office now that Covid-19 restrictions are easing, we have listened to our employees’ requests to continue some form of homeworking in the future, and we have introduced a flex-working policy to accommodate this. Our new flex-working policy allows employees to work from home up to 4 days a week, subject to approval. Our focus continues to be employee-led, so employees are free to decide to work from the office every day if they wish, or to work from home part of the time.
As with most companies, before Covid restrictions were introduced, most of our employees worked from the office every day. We are very fortunate to work in a big, modern office with multiple communal areas, but whilst our office environment is very welcoming, the forced homeworking allowed us to acknowledge the benefits of remote working for part of the week. The main benefits employees have commented on are the saved commuting time (and the environmental impact of this), greater flexibility, increased work/life balance and the ability to work without the distractions of an office environment when needed.
Early last year, we conducted a survey asking our employees what they wanted the future way of working to look like, and we shaped our policy around these responses. Most employees responded that they found working from home to be a positive experience and would like to continue being able to do so, but that they did miss the office environment/being able to see their colleagues in person.
We also understand that not all employees can or wish to work from home, either due to the nature of their role, lack of suitable working space at home, or personal preferences, but due to our focus on flexibility, everyone can benefit from some form of flexible working. Our core hours are 10 am – 3 pm Monday-Thursday, and 10 am – 12.30 pm on Fridays, outside of these core hours it is up to employees to work their remaining contracted hours in a way that suits them. This gives employees greater autonomy and allows them to juggle their work and personal life responsibilities more effectively.
Additionally, we have introduced greater flexibility to our annual leave policy this year. All employees receive 25 days of annual leave (increasing to 30 days with long service) but these can now be taken in hourly increments giving our employees greater flexibility in how they use their holiday. Employees can even book a day off using their core hours only, e.g., a Friday can be taken off with 2.5 hours of annual leave, provided that the weekly contracted hours are still met. Employees can also buy and sell up to 5 days’ annual leave each year, which allows for greater flexibility for personal life events/milestones.
Most of our employees have now elected a hybrid approach – working from the office 2-3 days per week and teams have coordinated their days so that they all come in on the same days to support collaboration and teamworking. We announced the new flexible work policy last year, but due to increasing Covid numbers, we have only recently been able to re-open the office to everyone. As such, our flex-working policy is still in its early stages, but we are really heartened by the incredibly positive feedback we have received so far and look forward to seeing where the new policy takes us.
What employees say about our Flex-working approach –
I usually finish work around 5 pm but what’s nice is I have the opportunity to break up my day into a structure that works for me: Some days, I’ll go to the gym a little bit early around 4 pm, miss all the crowds and then come back and just continue working until around 7 pm. Flexi-time means that I’m not constrained to 9-5 working: I can get back home in the evening and I might think “now’s the perfect time for me to crack on with this”. It’s wonderful having that flexibility and freedom!
Charles – Project Coordinator
I like the fact I have both options; it’s nice to start the week off at home, you can ease in and then go into the office the following days. The core hours are from 10 am to 3 pm, so if you want to have a break between 3 pm and 5 pm, for example, you can, all you have to do is just make up those hours later on. As long as the work’s done, Stirling is happy!
Ajmal – Graduate Engineer
Thanks to Stirling’s flexible working policy, I can now work from home 3 days a week. This flexibility gives me the freedom to manage my own time throughout the week, which allows me to better manage my workload alongside my personal life. I have a reasonably long commute time, so flexible working also means my commuting time and costs are reduced. Also, being in the office 2 days a week means I can still catch up with each of my project teams, as well as others across the business, face-to-face and a change of scenery is always nice.
Lisa – Senior Project Coordinator
For more information on Stirling’s staff benefits, visit our career page.
Human Resources Manager
Natasha joined Stirling Dynamics as the HR Manager in 2019. She is responsible for all aspects of HR within Stirling Dynamics and is passionate about ensuring Stirling is a welcoming environment where employees can thrive and achieve their full potential. Natasha has previously worked within Learning and Development as well as graduate training and recruitment.
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