Flexible working is something that’s talked about in companies up and down the land, however the definition of what that actually means in practice is broad.
Some organisations see it as letting you head home an hour early on a Friday afternoon, while others have disbanded the office totally, opting for a fully-virtual operation. Seeing ‘flexible working’ on a job description might catch your eye, but how that’s interpreted may be very different from what you’re actually looking for to fit in with your lifestyle.
At npower, we’ve developed flexible working practices
that truly benefit our employees. We’ve created some pretty amazing workspaces in our offices, with break out areas and project desks enabling teams to chop and change where they sit depending on whatever it is they’re currently working on. Our Agile technology also gives some team members the opportunity to work from outside the office, whether that’s at home, in a café or somewhere in between.
We call this our ‘Agile working
’ scheme. Research and Insight Manager, Melanie Hughes explains how it makes her a happier and more productive member of our team.
“When I joined 11 months ago, the idea of working in a smaller team than I’d been in before really appealed. I’ve been in workplaces previously where working from home was permitted in special circumstances, but it certainly wasn’t actively encouraged.”
“With travel an expensive and stressful thing to do every day, having the option to avoid the commute for a few days a week is a real attraction. It’s allowed me to take a job that’s a bit further away from my home than I’d usually consider, balancing out the time it would take me to travel to work.”
But it’s not just about our team having the option to work wherever and whenever. Loosening the rigidity of traditional desks and 9-5 working practices lets people flourish in their role. Melanie explains:
“My role involves gathering customer insight which is used to support stakeholders in the commercial team to make decisions about npower’s products. This is often much easier to do in a non-office environment where you can feel closer to the customer.”
“This is something that seems to be more culturally embedded than I’ve known in other businesses – my manager has more of a relaxed approach to core hours than I’ve known before, so you don’t feel as pressured to be ‘visible’ and can concentrate on just getting your job done.”
This is a practice npower have been rolling out over recent years, with a commitment to continual improvement so employees both new and old can benefit. Agile working is combined with property sustainability and a programme of recreational activities that create a truly great place to work.
The Agile scheme benefits everyone from graduates up to senior management. One previous participant in what was our Bespoke Graduate Scheme, Matthew Hulks, was heavily involved in Agile’s initial rollout and noticed an overwhelmingly positive response from graduates who were introduced to the scheme.
“I’ve found that graduates grasp the concept very quickly as they’re used to this style of working at university, being given a task to do and then sent away to achieve in their own way.”
Alex Bracchi, who is undertaking his second Graduate placement in the Agile Workplace Development team, echoes these sentiments.
“Coming straight from university, I was used to revising and working at times that suited me and at places where I felt most productive. Agile working gives me the opportunity to continue this and work in the way that is best for me.”
Our ability to offer flexible working across a large operation is partly driven by technology that permits remote working and partly by a philosophy of understanding that people have a life outside of work. We know people can thrive in many different environments and we’re happy to provide the flexibility to allow them to do so. For more information on how you can experience Agile as a graduate, take a look at the variety of schemes we offer here