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Work Life balance. Case studies. Challenges (1). Deliver its telecommunications, internet and IT services locally, nationally and internationally to millions of diverse, increasingly demanding customers Technology alone no longer able to offer competitive advantage

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work life balance

Work Life balance

WLB cases

Case studies

challenges 1
Challenges (1)
  • Deliver its telecommunications, internet and IT services locally, nationally and internationally to millions of diverse, increasingly demanding customers
  • Technology alone no longer able to offer competitive advantage
  • Way staff behave with customers and motivation - is the only sustainable differentiator in today’s markets.

WLB cases

challenges 2
Challenges (2)
  • Most have responsibilities for others: children or elderly, disabled or sick, family or friends
  • With ageing population these demands will increase while the recruitment pool is reducing and expecting better work-life balance

WLB cases

responses 1
Responses (1)
  • Use communications technology to transform the way the company runs, from a more static, site-based workforce to an ‘e-BT’ (employees who work flexibly and/or from home)
  • Providing employees with online, real time, access to information and training
  • Increased productivity, increased sales, customer satisfaction and enables flexible working

WLB cases

responses 2
Responses (2)
  • To meet increasingly demanding and varied customer expectations BT has to be more agile
  • Applies same flexible thinking to its people and the demands on them
  • Has over 9,000 home workersnearly 500 job sharers5,000+ part-time workers.

WLB cases

responses 3
Responses (3)
  • BT Broadband used by employees at home, in the office, on customer premises or while travelling
  • 70% of BT’s training is delivered on-line (253,000 course completions in the last year)to employees at work or home.
  • Changed processes and attitudes to enable flexibility: Managers encouraged to agree flexible workingperformance focus has shifted to outputsinformation and support given though intranet

WLB cases

results 1
Results (1)
  • • More talented workforce:
      • People appreciate companies with a sound WLB ethos, so BT can draw from a wide talent pool
      • Flexible working attracts and retains people under-represented in workforce such as disabled people, lone parents and carers.
  • More flexible and responsive workforce
  • • Improved retention:
      • natural attrition is now only 2.8% pa,
      • 98% of women return to BT after maternity leave
      • flexible working in last 2 years helped retain 1000 people.

WLB cases

results 2
Results (2)

• Reduced absenteeism:

Homeworkers average just 3 days/ year Absenteeism rate is 20% below the UK average.

• Increased productivity:

‘Self Motivated Team’ project (6000 employees) rewards output rather than attendance – participants work fewer hours, are more productive

9,000+ employees work from home with productivity gains of 15-31%. Home-based call centre operators handle 20% more calls than site-based colleagues.

WLB cases

results 3
Results (3)

• Happier customers:

Flexible working helps respond to customer demand 24/7

Customer and employee feedback shows improvements - customer dissatisfaction down 22% in last year, home workers 7% happier than site-based colleagues.

• Reduced costs

Annual cost to support office-based worker in central London = around £18,000. Costs less than £3,000 to support a homeworker. On average each homeworker saves BT £6000 a year

Improved retention saves c£5m a year on recruitment and induction.

WLB cases

marcia works in systems and solutions
Marcia works in Systems and Solutions

She took up homeworking last year. She says: “I’ve been home working for eight months and it’s wonderful. It fits around my children. I’m a lone parent with a teenager and I felt I needed more presence at home. I needed to keep an eye on things. I’ve also got two young children at school and I’m a school governor as well. I’m able to fit in all my commitments around my work. I work better at home. I now log on to my computer at 7.45am each day, whereas I would have been at my desk at ten. I work harder and longer at home. I also don’t shout at the children as much!”

WLB cases

richard coaches customer service engineers
Richard coaches customer service engineers

“I have two children aged five and seven and I’m getting married this year to my partner who also has two children. Childcare issues are incredibly important to me and so flexibility is paramount. I also had a heart attack last year, so I need to keep my stress levels as low as possible. Flexible working means that I don’t have to worry about my children, I am not stressed at all in the way I was in the past. I know that I can work at home when I need to. In fact I work harder at home. Flexible working has been brilliant.”

WLB cases

summary

With the increase in lone parenting (possibly 25% by 2010), more and more couples depending on both people earning, the growing needs for elder care and the overall population changes, employers need to be increasingly open and creative in their employment practices. If they are not they will neither attract nor keep the people and skills they need. BT recognises that to be successful, it must continue to maximise their staff’s freedom to work where and when it suits both the business and the people - focusing on outputs and contribution and much less on location, hierarchy and time.

Summary

With the increase in lone parenting (possibly 25% by 2010), more and more couples depending on both people earning, the growing needs for elder care and the overall population changes, employers need to be increasingly open and creative

If not, will neither attract nor keep the people and skills they need.

BT recognises that it must maximise their staff’s freedom to work where and when it suits both the business and the people - focusing on outputs and contribution, much less on location, hierarchy and time.

WLB cases

camden
Camden

WLB cases

challenges
Challenges
  • Existing arrangements, (eg. dependants’ leave) focused only on parents.
  • Reduce sickness absence rates
  • Continuously improve delivery of customer services, which includes providing excellent services to staff
  • Recruiting from a diverse workforce

WLB cases

responses 11
Responses (1)
  • WLB strategy introduced in 2001 to improve on existing flexible working options
  • Conducted consultation to identify what work-life practices would be most beneficial to staff :Most popular:
  • Increased opportunities to work from home
  • More flexible hours
  • Compressed working weeks
  • Ideas were developed and use in consultation with managers, employees and trades unions

WLB cases

responses 21
Responses (2)

New flexible working options include:

  • Extended home working
  • Job sharing (already existed but re-launched)
  • Compressed working week
  • Voluntary reduced working hours
  • Temporary amendments to flexitime
  • Term-time working
  • Annual hours scheme
  • An employment break scheme

Open to all - not automatic entitlement to FW

WLB cases

teething problems
Teething problems

Managers worried about managing staff working different hours from them

  • Change performance management (a) emphasise Results(b) get rid of culture of “presenteeism”
  • Manager training in practical FW practices
  • FW guide for managers

WLB cases

results
Results
  • 29% of staff felt that the system “was not perfect”but “better than it used to be”, “step in the right direction”
  • Only 1 in 10 said not interested in pursuing work-life options
  • 2.5% reduction in the cost of sickness absence
  • Reduction of 2% in staff turnover in the first year
  • Workspace cost savings: Hot-desking has reduced pressure on accommodation. Also helped departments extend opening hours
  • Bureaucracy minimisedIntention of keeping bureaucracy to minimum – staff only need fill in a form for monitoring purposes
  • (2002 employee survey)

WLB cases