Feb 27, 2021

Most UK firms to adopt a hybrid working model, CIPD predicts

Kate Birch
3 min
With remote workers happier at home but feeling pressure to be always available, businesses are urged to gear up for a hybrid hybrid working model
With remote workers happier at home but feeling pressure to be always available, businesses are urged to gear up for a hybrid hybrid working model...

Workers in the UK are happier working from home but also feel pressure to be always available, according to new research.

Following what has been a dramatic shift to remote working over the past year, a new report from Microsoft Surface and YouGov, finds that 87% employees reported their businesses have adapted to hybrid working and as such, this new way of working has been both positive and negative. 

According to the report, entitled Work Smarter to live Better, remote working has given employees the opportunity to live life in a different way with 55% using their lunch break to focus on their personal life and 56% reporting an increase in their levels of happiness working from home.

It's not all a bed or roses though with many reporting they are being stretched further in the work they need to deliver. One in three people report an increase in their hours while remote working, and more than half feel they have to be available at all times. Add to this the fact that the majority are missing seeing their colleagues in person, with 65% reporting that socialising is what they miss most about working from home, and employees are feeling the pressure. 

As a result of these new pressures, 36% of those surveyed said mental health and resilience resources were the most popular options when it came to choosing training to build remote working skills.

And while firms across the UK are currently taking a digital-first approach due to widespread remote working, few firms plan to have a 100% remote workforce for the long term with the most likely scenario one where firms adopt a hybrid working model, with the workforce split between working remotely and working in the office.

Being able to successfully support remote operations and distributed teams “is now indispensable for business resilience and innovation” says Howard Lewis, Surface Business Group Lead at Microsoft UK

Organisations to gear up for hybrid working model 

This means that organisations need to be geared up to provide the necessary resources to help support those workers choosing to work from home. 

According to Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy at CIPD, the professional body for human resources and people development, due to this enforced homeworking situation caused by the pandemic “many people have been dealing with a range of additional pressures and anxieties” and because of this, it is crucial that “line managers ensure people are not overworking and provide flexibility and support to anyone struggling with any aspect of working from home”. 

Willmott urges leaders to “role model the behaviours they expect of others” and businesses to “focus more on equipping managers with the people management skills they need to manage and support home and remote workers”. 

He also recommends that employers do more to provide more flexible working opportunities to people whose jobs mean they can’t work from home by providing “greater use of practices such as flexi-time, job sharing and compressed and annualised hours”.

Here, the CIPD recommends four areas of focus for UK organisations and people professionals to help workers.

  • Support hybrid workers through good people management Design work processes that suit all locations, concentrating particularly on knowledge-sharing, coordination of work and team relationships to encourage performance and innovation
  • Ensure fairness of opportunity Provide ongoing access to development and career conversations for all employees
  • Put health and wellbeing front and centre Ensure that employees are not overworking and remind them about the importance of maintaining their physical and mental wellbeing and taking regular breaks, fresh air and exercise
  • Offer a range of broader flexible working options Go beyond remote working and look at introducing wider flexible working options like job shares, compressed hours and flexible start and finish times. Support flexibility from the start by recruiting flexibly and making the right to request Flexible Working a day one right.

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Jun 10, 2021

People Moves EMEA: Kearney, KPMG, Oliver Wyman, Skoda

Kate Birch
4 min
Consulting and sustainability take centrestage this week with executive movements at Kearney, KPMG, Oliver Wyman, Skoda, Syngenta and Laing O’Rourke

It’s been a busy week for executive transitions across EMEA and especially in the world of consulting, with partner/CEO announcements at Oliver Wyman, KPMG and Kearney, and in the role of head of sustainability, with new CSO appointments at Laing O’Rourke and Syngenta Group.

We round up the biggest executive moves across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Nick Studer announced as CEO of consulting giant Oliver Wyman

Set to take the top job at consulting giant Oliver Wyman next month, Nick Studer has been named CEO and Dual President of the firm’s economic and brand consulting subsidiaries NERA and Lippincott and will be based in London. Having been with Oliver Wyman for more than two decades, becoming partner in 2003, Studer has since served in a variety of international leadership roles, including head of Global Corporate and Institutional banking Practice, before becoming managing partner at the start of 2021.

According to Dan Glaser, CEO of Oliver Wyman parent Marsh McLennan, Studer has not just led many of the firm’s practices, but he “has been a leading voice for change and a major driver of our Inclusion and Diversity agenda”.

Delphine Bourrilly to lead Kearney in France

Seasoned consultant Delphine Bourrilly has been appointed leader of consulting firm Kearney for France, one of the firm’s larger locations in Europe, becoming fifth head of the Paris office. Having been with Kearney for more than a decade, most recently leading the Leadership, Change and Organisation practice across Europe, Bourrilly has an array of client successes under her consulting belt, including overseeing an operating model transformation at a large retailer. Prior to this, she spent five years at UBS. According to Geir Olsen, Head of Europe at Kearney, Bourrilly’s “talent, energy and charisma will be critical in leading Kearney through its next growth phase in France”.

Roland Villinger becomes head of corporate and product strategy, Skoda Auto

A consulting veteran, Roland Villinger has been appointed head of Skoda Auto’s corporate and product strategy, a newly created area for the Czech car manufacturer that combines two departments. Described by Skoda’s CEO Thomas Schafer as “an international experienced leader and proven digital expert”, Villinger most recently oversaw the implementation of Volkswagen Group strategy and was also previously chief strategy officer and chief digital officer at Audi AG. Prior to this, he spent 25 years at consultancy McKinsey including serving as a senior partner and running McKinsey’s operations in the APAC region.

Hanan Alowain promoted to Partner, public sector, KPMG

Becoming the second Saudi female partner in the history of KPMG, Hanan Alowain has been promoted to Partner in the firm’s Public Sector function. With 14 years of experience in human capital and social development in the Kingdom, including the last three and a half years at KPMG, Alowain is a Harvard Business School graduate with extensive experience both in the public sector, as director of research and development for the Saudi government’s Ministry of Labour, and the private sector, including as a partner at investment & development group Eradah.

Vicky Bullivant named Laing O’Rourke’s first-ever group head of sustainability

Seasoned ESG leader Vicky Bullivant is joining Laing O’Rourke as its first-ever group head of sustainability from Drax Group where she was head of sustainable business and responsible for developing the firm’s climate ambition, social strategy and community and charity policies. Having led the world’s first company ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, and the UK’s first energy company to commit to improving skills and education for one million people by 2025, Bullivant boasts 25 years of ESG business experience in highly regulated sectors, FTSE 100 companies, government and NGOs.

Bullivant spent eight years at Experian, where she was head of corporate affairs and community, nearly four years as head of corporate responsibility at Eon, five years as group head of sustainability at Rolls-Royce, where she turned around the firm’s performance in the Dow Jones Sustainability index, as well as sustainability heads at Tate & Lyle and Drax Group.

Daniel Vennard joins Syngenta Group as new CSO

Former global director at the World Resources Institute Daniel Vennard has been appointed chief sustainability officer for Syngenta Group. Based in Basel, Switzerland, Vennard will be responsible for developing and implementing the Group’s sustainability into its business strategy. Bringing extensive experience in the development of sustainability strategies and in launching global sustainability programmes that deliver growth and impact, Vennard most recently served as global director at the World Resources Institute, Vennard founded the Better Buying Lab bringing together scientists to develop, test and scale innovations that help consumers opt for sustainable plant-based food.

Prior to this he spent 15 years at Mars and Procter & Gamble in sustainability, corporate strategy and marketing and brings “creativity and remarkable expertise in sustainability” that will “help us further advance regenerative farming practices and help mitigate the harmful effects of global warming”, says Erik Fyrwald, CEO, Syngenta Group.


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