VIDEO | Dynamic Working is a Win-Win at Barclays

Oct 6, 2017 9:50 AM ET

Originally published on Barclays

As the UK marks National Work Life Week, we hear how dynamic ways of working have become embedded in Barclays’ culture, empowering colleagues to work in the way that suits their lives – and leaving the bank better able to serve customers’ needs.

Mark Campbell is an Assistant Branch Manager at a London branch of Barclays. He also cares for his wife, who has a disability.

Earlier this year, he found himself struggling to meet his commitments at work and home. “I was working long hours, leaving work early and getting home late at night, and then having to do the household chores,” he says. Meals were late and he had no time to spend with his family.

When his branch moved to another location – with extended opening hours – his manager Jackie Carter suggested that he compress his five working days into four, giving him an extra day off during the week to spend with his family.

“He is much less stressed,” says Jackie. “He looks and feels lighter in his approach, and that’s very nice to see.” Not only that, the new arrangement has benefited the branch in Woolwich, south east London, with Mark available to open up first thing in the morning and help customers at the end of the day.

News ways of working

Mark is one of thousands of Barclays colleagues who have adopted dynamic ways of working, whether compressing or reducing their hours, job sharing, working remotely or having different start and finish times.

Just under 60% of Barclays staff work flexibly, whether to help with childcare or other caring responsibilities or pursue other passions outside work. Those who adopt this approach express greater satisfaction with their jobs and with the organisation.

Barclays introduced a formal dynamic working campaign in 2014, and has since trained more than 3,500 managers in Dynamic Working, to help them understand its impact on the bank’s working culture. Any Barclays employee, no matter what their role is or how long their service, can request dynamic working.

“Dynamic Working is a critical lever for us to engage and help enhance the productivity of the five generations working at Barclays,” says Mark McLane, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion. “By offering colleagues an opportunity to design their own work patterns, it enables a better integration between work and personal commitments and readies us to be a great workplace of the future, today.”

Give and take

Asset Manager Chris Burrell adjusted his working hours to allow him to fulfil his role as a Trustee for a charity. He now starts earlier four days a week and uses the time accrued to free up one afternoon a week.

“Having an afternoon when I am not working has enabled me to have meetings with auditors, charity advisers and other stakeholders within the working week, and it’s enabled me to be more visible to the trust employees,” he says.

On top of that, Chris says being able to organise his work around other commitments has made him more motivated and focused at Barclays. “It means I am in the office earlier, when it is usually quieter and when I work best. I usually start the day doing something which needs a clear head.”

The head of the team, Susie Ralph, says rearranging Chris’s working pattern “was all about thinking how we could make it work, rather than why it won’t”. She says the “give and take mentality” is embedded in her team’s culture – and that it benefits the business as well as the employee.

“We don’t even need to talk about it,” she says. “If one of my team has a child’s sports day to go to, I won’t ask them to make that time up, because I know if we have a day that’s really busy, they will stay until that transaction is finished.

“It’s our job to provide an end-to-end experience for our customers. That means having motivated, loyal staff who can respond to their changing needs. By offering my team dynamic working options, I know they’ll be motivated to step up when I need them, without me needing to ask.”

Family planning

When Craig Watterson and his partner found themselves without childcare, he spoke to his manager Donna Butler about rearranging his hours. Now Craig, who has a position in Data Operations, still works full-time, but spreads his hours over split shifts and weekends so that he can look after his children and his partner can attend college.

“If I hadn’t been able to work dynamically, I probably would have had to leave Barclays or reduce my hours considerably. So, it’s really good.”

Barclays named one of “most family friendly employers”

Barclays was this week named as one of the Top 10 Employers for Working Families in the annual benchmark compiled by work life balance charity Working Families. Hundreds of companies from across the UK compete to gain a place on the list, which looks at how integrated and consistent their flexible working policies are across the business. Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive of Working Families, said: “Congratulations to Barclays whose flexible, agile approach has earned them a much-coveted place on [our list]. Flexibility is not just good for families, it makes perfect business sense.”