Flexible working is a real winner

Shortlisted firms in the Best Places to Work in IT 2006 Awards demonstrate the value of letting staff adapt their hours to their lifestyles

Flexible working is one of the most popular factors that make for a Best Place to Work. It is cited time after time by the shortlisted organisations, all of which highlight flexible working as a "Best Place" criterion.

Being freed from the straitjacket of nine-to-five, five days a week and allowed to adapt your working life to your other needs used to be a rarity, but is now increasingly commonplace. Flexible working is now often part of the package, and companies that do not offer it may lose out.

At Yell, more than 10% of IT staff work part-time hours, and core hours can be as flexible as 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm, with working time fitted around such requirements as childcare. Home working can be ad hoc, less than 40% of the working week or, contracted, more than 40%. Kingston Communications is also highly supportive of flexible working, including compressed working, term-time working and part-time hours or job sharing.

At Atkins, working arrangements reflect longer-term changes in lifestyle and family commitments, and the company finds that allowing staff to work from home increases productivity and can reduce absence. Remote workers are provided with connectivity tools to allow them to carry out a full complement of tasks from any location. At Citicorp, everyone is eligible for home access, and about 10% of IT staff work flexi-hours.

Berwin Leighton Paisner's IT department contains a wide mix of people, and personal circumstances are taken into account wherever possible, with part-time working, shift working and adjusted start and finish times all used to help staff. At Smart Human Logistics, staff can take home working opportunities and sabbaticals, and at OCS, staff who want to concentrate on project work can do so at home.

Tesco is another supporter of flexible working, allowing IT staff to work part-time, job share and job split, and work flexible hours. The result is the win-win situation of staff enjoying a more balanced lifestyle while fulfilling the company's business objectives. For example, one senior manager cut his working week by two days to study for his PhD.

Tesco offers career breaks to anyone who has been a member of staff for more than two years - they can take from three months to five years off, are kept informed during that time, and can return once a year to keep their skills up to date.

At Past Times, IT staff can work from home both by choice and necessity, such as when children are off school, and flexitime is provided for exercise - the IT director is a fitness trainer and encourages team fitness.

Computer Weekly's Best Places to Work in IT2006 Awards are organised in association with international recruitment services organisation PSD and are sponsored by consultancy Atkins, Barclays Service Operations and recruitment and resourcing firms Capita Resourcing, Madison Black, ReThink Recruitment and Spring Technology.


The shortlist

Final winners of the Best Places to Work in IT 2006 Awards will be selected from the organisations listed below:

Banking and finance

Barclays, Service Operations
Birmingham Midshires
Britannia Building Society
Citigroup

Central and local government

Companies House
City of London
Lancashire County Council
Land Registry

IT services, including outsource providers

Cobweb Solutions
IMERJA
ITRM
Tessella Support Services

Construction, agriculture and mining

Davis Langdon
WSP Group

Business services

Berwin Leighton Paisner
Eaga Partnership
OCS Group

Manufacturing and engineering

Atkins
Kimberly-Clark
PepsiCo UK
Procter & Gamble

Other public/non-profit sector

Legal Services Commission
London Business School
Nominet UK
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

IT software  and  hardware

Compuware
Data Connection
Smart Human Logistics
Welcom Software

Retail, wholesale and distribution

Greggs (head office IT)
Past Times
Tesco Stores

Media, hospitality, entertainment and leisure

Chelsea Football Club
Yell

Utilities and communications

Judges' special award to be announced.
 

The judging panel

The members of the judging panel for Best Places to Work in IT2006 combine the best of business, IT and employment expertise. They include:

British Computer Society

The BCS provides service and support to the IT community, including IT practitioners and employers of IT practitioners. It also acts to generate public awareness and appreciation of the associated social and economic benefits of IT. The BCS was formed to establish and maintain appropriate standards of education and experience for people working in IT or studying to enter the profession.

IBM Computer Users Association

The IBMCUA is an independent organisation that arranges briefings on topical business-related IT subjects for IT managers and directors. The objective of each event is to provide attendees with information that can be used in their organisation to realise real benefits. Subjects range from the value of specific technologies to the business and how to deal with the latest issues to technical education for IBM iSeries users.

The Corporate IT Forum (Tif)

Tif is a subscriber organisation representing the corporate IT user community. Members, which come from some of the UK's largest blue chip organisations, work together to find practical solutions to everyday issues facing corporate IT, from technical architecture to policy and managing supplier relationships.

Centre of Computing & Social Responsibility

The CCSR is an academic body that carries out research and provides teaching, consultancy and advice to individuals, communities, organisations and governments at local, national and international levels on the actual and potential impact of computing and related technologies on society and citizens.

Institute of Directors

The Institute of Directors provides a professional network that reaches into every corner of the business community. Its global membership spans the spectrum of business leadership, from the largest public companies to the smallest private firms.

UK Oracle User Group

The UKOUG is an independent organisation dedicated to informing and educating Oracle users about Oracle products and services. It provides a forum where users can exchange experiences and influence Oracle management teams.

Awards ceremony

The Best Places to Work in IT 2006 Awards will be announced at a lunch at the Park Lane Hotel, London on 1 March. Places at the event are limited so to ensure your table, contact Nicky Allison on 020-8652 8583, email nicky.allison@rbi.co.uk

Computer Weekly's Best Places to Work in IT2006 Awards are organised in association with international recruitment services organisation PSD and are sponsored by consultancy Atkins, Barclays Service Operations and recruitment and resourcing firms Capita Resourcing, Madison Black, ReThink Recruitment and Spring Technology.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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