The Openwork Partnership shows open mind to flexible working

The Openwork Partnership, one of the UK’s largest and longest established financial advice and investment networks, is supporting staff and its growth plans with a new approach to flexibility at work as its offices open to more people.

The Openwork Partnership has doubled the number of colleagues who can work in its Swindon headquarters three days a week to 100 from 50 previously and plans to move to five-days-a-week from September 6th if Government guidelines allow. Other offices including its London building will be opened as restrictions ease.

But that is just part of a much bigger long-term switch to hybrid flexible working designed to help colleagues achieve a better work/life balance while helping the company to achieve its ambitions.

The change is being introduced in response to staff feedback calling for increased flexibility and will deliver real benefits for the business in motivation and productivity plus supporting recruitment and retention. Colleagues are being trusted to choose where, when and how they work around their personal and professional commitments.

The new forward-thinking flexible approach to work means colleagues should be available for core hours between 10am and 2pm but can fit work around other commitments once agreed with teams and managers.

Employees will be able to work all or part of the time in the office or work from home with visits to the office for meetings or for collaboration with colleagues.

Colleagues – including the 100-plus who have joined during the COVID-19 pandemic and have never worked in the office – are being supported with a specially designed Flexible Working Portal site which has guides and videos on new working practices and options.

Carrie Morris, Chief People Officer at The Openwork Partnership said: “It is an exciting new chapter for the company and there will be major benefits for colleagues in terms of motivation, recruiting and retaining colleagues as well as in the work/life balance and productivity.

“Colleagues told us in surveys that they wanted more flexibility and we recognised that the world has changed and that the way we work needs to change too. Flexible working aims to provide everybody with the work/life balance choices that enable each of us to reach our full potential professionally and personally.

“As we emerge from the Covid era some will be keen to stop working from home while others will be worried about returning to the office – importantly, no one will be expected to work in the office unless they are comfortable in doing so. We may all feel different after a few months of normal life so we may need to flex and adapt as time goes by.”

The new policy builds on the ongoing investment in the career fulfilment and wellbeing of employees which has seen The Openwork Partnership rated one of the UK’s best places to work for three years in a row.

The Openwork Partnership has more than 4,300 financial advisers across the UK and operates as a directly authorised, multi-panel distribution network. Its new website includes an interactive map enabling more clients to access support from the network.

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