Guest Blog: James Magill, Vodafone Ireland 

08 Mar 2021 | 11.08 am

Guest Blog: James Magill, Vodafone Ireland 

Vodafone adopting 60:40 hybrid work model

08 Mar 2021 | 11.08 am

James Magill (pictured), HR Director at Vodafone Ireland, explains why the company is adopting a hybrid work model where staff spend 40% of their working time in the office and 60% working remotely

In the past 12 months, we have experienced an acceleration of many trends in relation to the future of work, some of which may have taken years to materialise. How and where we work has changed forever, and for the better.

This rapid shift has seen some businesses become digital-only operations, it has led to employers operating entire workforces remotely and employees balancing their workloads and personal lives, without having to commute to a fixed space, with fixed technology, every day.

One trend that has seen a huge acceleration is remote working. This fundamental shift to working from a location other than an office is here to stay for those who can and choose to do so post-pandemic.

Importantly, through the launch of the National Remote Working Strategy, the Irish government has rallied behind it and signalled a permanent change to the traditional work environment by providing people with the right to have alternative options.

The pandemic has also presented an opportunity to create a more inclusive environment, where we can challenge ourselves to remove any barriers to inequality for our people and our customers, when redesigning our future employee experience and office environment.

We must consider what opportunities this presents to groups that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, or how the design of our office environment can enable or disable different cohorts in achieving their full potential.

As a business community, it is crucial that such radical change is balanced with the right people structures and processes to ensure the benefits of remote working are there for everyone. Employers need to understand the different needs and circumstances of their employees and their business.

These new ways of working also need to be enabled by appropriate tools and policies which focus on wellbeing, the right to disconnect and inclusion.  They must be enabled by a culture built on trust, empowerment alongside clarity of accountability and collaboration.

Future Ready

At Vodafone Ireland, in close partnership with our people, we’ve been shaping our ‘Future of Work’ experience through something we are calling our Future Ready programme.

Results from an internal survey showed that a hybrid working model was the most favourable option in the future, with 83% of our people expressing the desire to spend a portion of their time in the office and a portion working remotely.

Clear benefits such as reduced commuter times and increased productivity for certain activities were shared, but also a desire for the emotional connection, collaboration and peer learning that is often accelerated when working together as teams in the office.

Taking this feedback on board, we were delighted to announce our intent to move to a 60:40 hybrid model. This will see people spending 60% of their time working remotely, and the other 40% of their time working together in the office.

We believe this model will bring together the benefits of remote working and the employee flexibility and autonomy it offers, with the benefit of coming together regularly to accelerate innovation, collaboration, connection and learning.

We believe this model will not only enhance our company culture but will offer an opportunity to create an inclusive environment where all of our people feel a strong sense of connection and belonging.

While this approach was the best fit for Vodafone and our people, we appreciate that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for businesses. Different operating models, types of work, structures and workplace cultures will require different approaches.

With this in mind, it is critical for business leaders, across all sectors, to engage with their employees and establish the preferred approach to work for their own business, post-pandemic.

 

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