Flexible Ways of Working
Lincoln College believes that its staff members are its most valuable asset and is therefore committed to supporting the capability, capacity and wellbeing of its people; attracting and retaining the very best. It also appreciates that the UK workforce is becoming increasingly diverse and includes a high percentage of parents and individuals with other caring responsibilities, as well as those whose interests and aspirations impact on their time. The organisation appreciates that the standard Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm working week is, in many cases, incompatible with increasing demand for a better work-life balance.
A copy of our policy on flexible working can be downloaded via the following link – Flexible Ways of Working Policy.
Lincoln College Review of Flexible Working
In January 2020 the HR Team conducted a number of focus groups and an all staff survey to inform work around an objective to review flexible working practices at the college.
An incredible amount of work has taken place since that time, with the COVID-19 pandemic presenting an opportunity for the HR, IT and Marketing Teams to pilot hybrid working i.e. a mixture of home and workplace working and that was proven to be highly successful; headline outcomes included:
- 95% of staff participating in the pilot said that communication with their colleagues was better than or equal to when fully working onsite;
- 97% felt their work life balance was better than or equal to when working fully onsite;
- 100% said that their health and wellbeing was equal to or better than before;
- 92% said that their productivity was equal to or better than before.
The review into flexible working at the college included a tremendous input from our leaders, managers, education and training staff, support staff and our UCU and UNISON colleagues via surveys and focus groups which the HR team were incredibly grateful for; this input has helped determined the best approach to working in the future.
As a result of this work a new policy was introduced at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
A copy of the policy can be downloaded via the following link – Flexible Ways of Working Policy.
Our Flexible Ways of Working Policy – A brief overview
Our policy and new way of working will mean different things, to different teams, at different times depending on the type of work they do and their pressure pinch-points during the year. The policy is designed to empower teams and managers, giving them more options to be flexible to achieve both productivity and work-life balance.
Our Flexible Ways of Working Policy outlines the college’s commitment to supporting the capability, capacity and wellbeing of its people. It is also driven by the fact that our workforce is becoming increasingly diverse, as such we recognise that the standard Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm working week is in many cases incompatible with increasing demand for a better work/life balance.
Staff are encouraged to consider their preferences in terms of where and when they work.
Line managers are encouraged to embrace flexible working, to trust in their teams, be pragmatic and transparent; seeking to meet individual preferences as far as possible whilst ensuring that the operational needs of the department/college are fully met. There will be no one size fits all ‘rule’ - line managers are enabled and liberated to make decisions that work for their teams.
Flex for All
There are many different types of flexible working which can be woven into almost any role, including informal and more formal flexible working arrangements. The principles of the Flexible Ways of Working Policy apply to all staff groups with the common primary theme of placing the interests of our students and college business needs at the heart.
For our Education & Training staff there is less emphasis on where and when staff work subject to timetables and students’ on-site requirements.
For our Support Staff there is no requirement for staff to work to ‘core hours’ or to record hours worked on flexi sheets. Arrangements are agreed locally and informally without the need to record; managers are encouraged to trust in their teams and focus on outputs. For example, staff can simply arrange to leave early/arrive late to work and agree to work that time back at another time during that week/month with their supervising manager.
Flex from Day 1 of Employment
As it currently stand the law only allows employees to submit flexible working requests after 26 weeks of employment. As an organisation we have waived this statutory restriction and have introduced the right for all staff to request flexible working from day 1 of their employment.
We support the CIPD's #FlexFrom1st campaign
Flex in the Job Design when Recruiting
Some element of flexibility can be found in all job roles. Line managers are encouraged and supported by our HR team to consider the type of job and its activities during the job design process.
We support the Working Families #HappytoTalkFlexibleWorking campaign.