Vodafone supports employees’ increasing demand for flexible working by enabling staff, regardless of grade, to work in a location of their choice as part of its ‘Better ways of working’ initiative.
The ability to work flexibly is one of three demands being presented by employees coming into the workforce that Vodafone has identified and addressed, along with a flexible working environment and a work space within this location that is as collaborative and innovative as possible.
For example, none of the staff at the organisation’s Newbury campus, including its chief executive, has an office or a fixed desk. Instead, staff are assigned an employer-funded laptop and mobile phone when appointed by the organisation and work at hot desks, which the organisation dubs ‘shared tables’.
Employees’ job functions determine whether or not they can set their own hours, with core hours applicable for some teams across the business.
Line managers have been trained to support the organisation’s flexible-working practices. Training covers Vodafone’s new performance metrics, which have been shifted to focus on employee outcomes, to reflect the fact that staff are not always visible in the office.
Frances Quigg, head of Vodafone’s ‘Better ways of working’ team, says: “We’ve changed the way we measure staff, so we have moved very much away from presenteeism to delivering on employees’ outcomes.”
The key challenge that Vodafone faced in implementing its new strategy was a fear among employees that the removal of personalised desk space was part and parcel of a long-term rationalisation project that would result in redundancy, but the new strategy means that jobs are in fact protected because of the cost savings that have been generated, explains Quigg.