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In this article, Mark McLane, Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion, shares the benefits, challenges and implementation steps for those considering dynamic working in their organisation.
At Barclays, we understand that our colleagues are at various stages of their lives, so we wanted to bring in a different way of thinking about and approaching work arrangements to suit the real-life needs of colleagues and stakeholders alike, and foster the optimal work/life culture.
Dynamic working (DW) is the name we’ve given to the flexible working model we adopted across the organisation in 2015. Our aim is to promote a high-performance, high-trust culture, focusing on people’s performance in the workplace, rather than the hours spent in the office. Essentially, dynamic working is all about giving colleagues the adaptability to integrate their professional and personal lives while also promoting wellbeing, diversity and inclusion.
We’ve already seen a number of benefits in our business, which I’d summarise into eight key areas.
It’s unrealistic to say that introducing dynamic working has solved all our problems, so whilst there are numerous advantages with DW, there have been a number of challenges identified since launching the campaign, which are important to understand when considering implementing in a business – a culture change at the scale of what we have achieved in our organisation does not come without its challenges.
One of our initial challenges was demonstrating that dynamic working was as beneficial for the business as it was for our colleagues – we were investing in dynamic working because it led to greater engagement and a sense of belonging with the organisation, leading to greater productivity and efficiency. Our colleague engagement survey helped to outline the tangible benefits of dynamic working, with anecdotal evidence demonstrating that having the opportunity to design one’s own work patterns led to greater client centricity and better client servicing.
The other challenge was the perception of flexible working itself. The origin of the campaign was to debunk the myth that flexibility is a needed by a new mum coming back from maternity leave and looking to work part time. Our aim was to create a workplace culture where flexibility is embedded as a way of working and available to all colleagues, where it works for their role.
Technology is the other key factor. If a colleague is working away from the office, the right technology infrastructure can support a successful execution. For us, technology transformation and dynamic working have gone hand in hand!
Here are my tips for success in order to promote a successful dynamic working environment:
DW is an agile, future-facing initiative to manage a work culture that helps empower colleagues and creates a more inclusive, transparent and efficient workplace. I encourage you to take the first steps on your dynamic working journey!
1Centre for Economics and Business Research, The productive value of the untapped workforce: A study into the potential economic impacts of a flexible working culture, November 2014
2Action for Rail, UK commuters spend up to 6 times as much of their salary on rail fares as other European passengers, January 2017
3Powownow, Ultimate Guide to Flexible Working for Employers, March 2016
4Barclays, Your View Survey 2017
5Dynamic Working, how do you work your life? February 2018.
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