New ways of working

IES Perspectives on HR 2021

Poole K | HR Network Paper 150 | Institute for Employment Studies  | May 2021

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Kathy Poole, Director of People at Wellcome Trust, details the thought processes and challenges around adopting flexible working patterns for a large organisation in a post Covid-19 working world. 

The paper reflects on how the organisation thought about what flexibility it wanted to create and how it leveraged the pandemic experience to bring about changes in the way that it works to deliver a more focused, healthy and inclusive environment.

The first part of the paper explores three important contextual areas critical to understanding the norms, assumptions and beliefs that Wellcome were working with, in addition to the ambitions of the organisation. The second part of the paper introduces the organisation's vision and the four dimensions that were considered in bringing about that vision:

■    Who should decide the way Wellcome employees work?

■    Where should Wellcome employees work?

■    When should Wellcome employees work?

■    How should Wellcome best facilitate the new ways of working?

The final part of the paper explores how management made these decisions and why they thought it was essential to engage with staff in the process.