Active Inclusion: the journey to making flexible working the norm

inclusionWhen every employee has a different life and responsibilities outside of work, how can one rigid, “9-5” approach fit everyone, everyday? The answer is clear – it can’t.

Technological advancements have had an impact on every part of society and workplace is no exception to this. It should not be immune from the benefits that greater mobility and connectivity can offer. It’s time for the workplace to be redefined.

At Capgemini UK, a new approach to flexible working, driven by the leadership, is set to shake up our work-life norms. With an intensified focus on diversity and inclusion, and a vision ‘to be a truly diverse and inclusive organisation, where everybody feels valued, included and empowered’ launched this year, flexible working is naturally a core part of our strategy.

This is a significant cultural change for us, and we know that changing the status quo will not be a simple or easy task. However, we have a fantastic platform to start; in our recent diversity & inclusion survey 61% of our employees said that they are offered flexibility around their personal circumstances. I would like to make it 100%.

So why are we investing in it?

  • Employees’ health and wellbeing. We want our people to be content and productive – not stressed by a long commute or worried about external responsibilities.
  • Winning the talent war. This is a competitive marketplace. We know that it is not just pay packets that prospective recruits are attracted by – it’s the knowledge that they will have a work life balance that allows them to flourish.
  • Reflecting our clients. Flexible working is becoming more and more common at many organisations, including those we work with. We want our existing and prospective clients to see that we are leading the way alongside them.
  • Building company-employee trust. Allowing employees to work flexibly away from the office takes a certain level of trust. We want our employees to know that they will be trusted and rewarded for getting work done well and on time – wherever and however they do it.

For these reasons and more, we are convinced that a bigger emphasis on work-life balance can only be beneficial, both for our people and for the business. If we truly want to create an inclusive culture where every employee feels respected and empowered, flexible working is not a nice-to-have – it’s a necessity.

Although we already have some excellent examples of people working flexibly, we know that it will take time and effort to change mind sets across all levels of the organisation. It will also take some creative thinking to make flexible working possible in certain situations. Taking all this into consideration, we are committed to change old practices, we are creating new policies and influencing behaviours to transform Capgemini UK into a place where everyone feels empowered to work in their own way.

This is just the beginning for Capgemini UK. There is a lot to do, but with a dedicated team behind the cause, we are already seeing results – and I am confident that we will continue to do so.

Paul Margetts, CEO, Capgemini UK.

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