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Workforce case study

Keeping pace with evolving workplace transformation

A photo of three young people working outdoors, sitting on steps at the entrance of a building.

 

Development of hybrid-working model

 

At a global plc, we helped design their hybrid-working model, including the development of communications materials and line manager and employee guidance to support the practical implementation of the future working model.

 

Client: Global plc
Role: Hybrid-working advisory support
Industry: FMCG
Services: Workforce transformation
Country: Multi-jurisdiction

 

Client's challenge

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in our client having to very quickly shift when, where and how work was completed across their business. The organisation pivoted well and in recognition of this, they launched a 'Remote Working' programme in 2020.

In 2021 our client acknowledged the strong need to embrace the benefits that come from site-based working and remote working in the form of a hybrid-working model.

As an organisation, our client had a strong awareness of the significance and complexity of this task, as well as the risk of 'getting it wrong', and the significantly negative impact this may have on their ability to attract, engage and retain talent.

They were also cognisant of the desire for increased autonomy to further define how to make this model work for both the business and employee.

An employee survey said 80% of employees would preferably like to work in the office one to two days a week with leadership reporting one to three days a week.

On the back of this challenge, the primary outcomes our client was looking to achieve were:

  1. The development and design of a future working model
  2. The practical implementation and embedding of this model within the organisation

Enabling flexibility and acknowledging the dedication and commitment their employees had demonstrated since the outset of the pandemic was of critical importance to our client, as was:

  • A cognisance of the global nature of our client's business
  • A consistent approach across the organisation
  • Maintaining an appropriate level of local decision-making and discretion

Our client also wished to ensure inclusivity of all varying perspectives (and distinct generational differences) as regards employees' desire for more flexible ways of working post pandemic, highlighting that when it comes to hybrid working that there is no 'one size fits all' or best practice model that will work.

 

 

Geometric image

“Our client realised how critical it was for leadership to provide a clear sense of direction, while allowing space for local adaptation. This helped them to create a common look and feel in their approach to hybrid working, without stifling flexibility and agility”.

David Keane Director

 

Approach

Our People and Organisation team were engaged by our client to assist with the development of their hybrid-working framework, taking the lead in developing comprehensive communications materials and line manager and employee support packs, clearly outlining how the model would work in practice.

Following working sessions with our client where we had the opportunity to witness their passion and commitment to making a hybrid-model work for their employees, we leveraged their feedback and learnings and worked together to develop an appropriate framework.

The hybrid-working framework that was developed was underpinned by three core elements:

  • Guiding principles: Clear principles set out by leadership to ensure there was a consistent approach across the organisation, while allowing for appropriate local autonomy
  • Management support: Clear guidance for managers on how they should determine the most appropriate model for their teams
  • Understanding personas: Considering how each individual role may best utilise the blend of workplace and remote environments, an identification of the type of role based on three distinct key work categories:
    • A: 4-5 days per week on-site
    • B: 1-3 days per week on-site
    • C: <1 day per week on-site

 

 

Impact

The resulting approach agreed upon by our client was to implement a "test and learn" approach, so that the hybrid-working model could be amended and adjusted as the organisation learned more about what would work for both the business and employees in practice.

The aspiration for our client was to develop a working model that would enable them to learn how to find the 'best of both worlds' in terms of the business benefits to be gained through effectively balancing face-to-face or in-workplace interactions with virtual ones.

The intention was to trial this framework in line with site 'Return to Office' plans across 2021. This would enable our client to test and learn with a view of formalising the approach in 2022.

 

Ger McDonough

Ger McDonough

Partner, PwC Ireland

David Keane

David Keane

Director, PwC Ireland

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