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We’ve taken action on…hybrid working for PS staff

As the world locked down in spring 2020, many of us adapted overnight to completely new ways of working. By the summer, we had all learnt a huge amount about working in more flexible ways, and by the end of 2021 many colleagues in Professional Services had started ‘hybrid working’ - a form of flexible working where staff work some of their working hours or days on campus, and some of their time remotely (usually from their home).  

So we asked you how things were going; what was working for you, what wasn’t and how you’d like things to change in the future. More than 2,000 of you shared your experiences in our What Works? Survey.

Here’s how we used your feedback to shape our sector-leading approach to hybrid working in Professional Services.

You said:

  • You were benefitting from working more flexibly, both in terms of working from home and working more flexible hours. 
  • You felt trusted and empowered by your manager and were being more productive as a result.
  • You want more flexibility in the future, preferring a blend of both home and on-campus working
  • You said that opportunities for flexible and hybrid working should be available across all grades.

We did:

  • Developed our initial approach to hybrid working integrating feedback from the staff surveys, which generated over 7,700 survey responses from colleagues across the University.
  • Established a Flexible Working Champion network of 110 colleagues to test messaging and approaches.
  • We ran a series of eight EDI focus groups with around 80 participants providing feedback on our approach.
  • Used your feedback to establish the hybrid working project and our hybrid working principles.
  • This approach was then discussed through manager town halls events in May, 2021 (270 participants took part across a series of three town hall events).
  • Continued to roll out hybrid working across professional services, with it now adopted by a wide range of PS roles.
  • Created FAQs on working from home which have been viewed more than 22,000 times.

How’s it going?

We’ve continued to listen and adapt our approach to hybrid working. 2,489 people took part in our recent Hybrid Working Survey, and the feedback shows that hybrid working has improved staff wellbeing and productivity:

  • 92% of respondents feel trusted by their manager to work in a hybrid way;
  • 82% of staff believe that hybrid working has improved their productivity;
  • 81% say that hybrid working has improved their wellbeing;
  • 81% say they felt they were in the correct hybrid working category;
  • 84% of female staff, 84% disabled staff and 85% of part-time employees reported their wellbeing has improved due to hybrid working.

We used the results from this survey, alongside other feedback, to embed hybrid working across PS from September 2022 through the publication of a new Hybrid Working Framework.

There are still some challenges to overcome on our hybrid working journey. Our EDI focus groups highlighted issues around disabled staff members accessing the right equipment and set up for hybrid working, as well as part-time workers accessing equivalent hybrid arrangements as full time workers. We are aware there are other problems we need to solve. We are working with teams from across the University to confirm a plan to meet these challenges and build on our successes of the pilot so far.

For more information on the hybrid working survey have a look at the hybrid working survey infographics

Your thoughts make a difference – take time to fill out the Staff Survey 2022

The Staff Survey is the most effective way of measuring how you feel about working here, what you enjoy and which areas you think need improvement. 

By completing the Staff Survey, you give us a clear picture of what it’s like to work here, and where and how improvements can be made. Whether your feedback is good or bad - your answers are invaluable and helps us to make our University a better place to work.