9 to 5

Posted in: Deborah Griffin

The system was broken; it had been for some time. And it took a pandemic to disrupt long held beliefs and traditions and allow a different version of reality to emerge. While not expressed in these terms, this was the impression that emerged from the stories shared as part of the review of hybrid working.  

The invitation to contribute to the review through focus groups was widely taken up. Representing a range of constituencies from staff networks as well as new starters, women’s voices were particularly strongly portrayed. What emerged from these conversations was a powerful sense that the 9 to 5 way of working had served its purpose and no longer facilitated how people want to live their lives and do their work. With hybrid, contributors described a way of working which wasn’t compartmentalised from the rest of their lives but instead provided a means of balancing the various aspects that make up modern day living. Not work/life balance. Just making life work.  

The Bath Hybrid Model encapsulates the University’s approach to this new style of working. Now in place for over a year, there was a widely expressed view that this model gives staff the autonomy to manage their work in the best way possible for them and for the University.   ‘Treating us like human beings’ was the phrase used to describe the post-pandemic relationship with work. The discussions showed that the University generally has taken a mature and high-trust approach to hybrid with greater success when decisions about where work happens are based on the role rather than the rule.  And the result? Benefits for both individual and Institution in terms of wellbeing, productivity, retention and service, to name but a few.  

Through a better understanding of what works well and where we can improve, these views will help to inform the evaluation report to UEB and shape the recommendations for the future. While a range of data has been collected, it has been the personal insight which has provided a clarity and a depth of understanding which the hard data can only hint at. Thank you to everyone who generously gave their time to take part in a very open, honest and positive conversation about how we do work. The outcome from the report to UEB will be shared with all staff.  

Deborah Griffin, Learning & Organisational Development Manager, Workforce Development, Human Resources

https://www.bath.ac.uk/topics/future-ways-of-working-for-professional-services-staff/

https://www.bath.ac.uk/guides/the-bath-hybrid-model/

Posted in: Deborah Griffin

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