MadeBrave, a strategic brand agency with offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London, is introducing a new working policy for its 50 staff that aims to offer total flexibility in working times, locations and taking leave.
The move follows the first Scotland-specific research into the impact of Covid on working patterns, which was conducted by Flexibility Works, a social business that received funding from the Scottish government, and polled more than 1,000 workers in Scotland who were not furloughed during the first lockdown.
Of these, more than half (55%) were considering asking for more flexibility when restrictions lift, while more than a quarter (27%) said they’ll definitely do so. This includes workers who already have some flexibility and want more, and those who didn’t have any before Covid.
Nearly half (45%) wanted to work from home more regularly than before, and 32% wanted more flexitime – working the same total hours but flexing their start/finish times. However half (51%) of those who have worked at home in the past year missed social interaction with colleagues, suggesting demand for full-time home working will be limited.
MadeBrave said its new policy was based on its guiding principles of freedom, trust and respect, and would comprise three ways of working: Flexi-Time (flexibility on working times), Flexi-Desk (on locations) and Flexi-Leave (around taking leave).
The framework has been developed by the agency’s chief executive, Andrew Dobbie, and its head of people and culture, Hannah Davidson, with external guidance from Flexibility Works.
To bring its new approach to life, MadeBrave has commissioned a series of illustrations by graphic designer Alex Black (pictured below), created a series of 3D animations and produced a written manifesto that will be turned into an office-wall mural.
“The global health crisis has presented a unique opportunity to re-imagine and redefine the future of our work lives,” Dobbie said. “Like a giant magnifying glass, it’s illuminated the many drawbacks of a rigid work environment, while reminding us of the importance of health and wellbeing above all.
“As lockdown restrictions ease and we begin to return to normal, we now have a huge opportunity to address the needs of our team; to say: ‘Hang on a minute – let’s not go back to normal.' Normal wasn’t that great anyway.”
He added: “Flexible working should no longer be considered a ‘nice to have’, but a ‘must have’. Ultimately, making flexible working the norm stands to benefit both employers and their people by widening talent pools, improving diversity and boosting productivity.”