Hybrid working good for firm and staff at Grant Thornton

18 February 2022 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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With more and more workers looking to maintain some of the positives they enjoyed from remote working during the lockdown months, Grant Thornton was one of a plethora of firms to introduce hybrid work schedules. Months later, a poll of the firm’s staff has since found that nine-out-of-ten Grant Thornton employees believe hybrid working has boosted their wellbeing and productivity.

During the Covid-19 lockdowns, many managers feared a fall in productivity, as they would be unable to impose themselves on staff as closely as they might have in the office. The last two years have consistently proven this assumption wrong, however, with many workers actually improving their productivity thanks to improved work-life balances, and healthier working routines.

Responding to this, many firms have rolled out changed offers regarding when and where they expect staff to work. Grant Thornton’s UK wing joined that growing list last year, when it introduced a ‘Framework for how we work’, outlining the founding principles of how the firm will work moving forward.

Hybrid working good for firm and staff at Grant Thornton

The framework was introduced as a guide to inform people’s discussions and support decision making about hybrid working – which data from Grant Thornton suggests was the most common working practice in the mid-market, with 88% of businesses working this way.

In the case of Grant Thornton’s new practices, staff will work between one and four days per week in an office, or at a client site for collaboration and project work, and the rest of the working week will be covered from home, or wherever is needed to continue to deliver high quality work and client service.

Later, the firm also announced that from January 2022, the firm will offer employees the choice to take public holiday leave on the dates that are most meaningful to them, rather than on the fixed bank holiday dates.

Perry Burton, Head of People and Culture at Grant Thornton, said, “It’s clear that work is no longer a location; it is what we do… While our offices are all now open, our aim is not to encourage everyone back into the office five days a week – it’s about encouraging and empowering people to decide for themselves the best approach to take for the type of work they have to do.”

“We do believe that the office remains an integral part of working life, for networking, collaboration and training, but it will no longer be a daily visit for the majority of our people.”

In the first two weeks following the easing of restrictions in February, 63% of people in Grant Thornton have visited an office for, on average, one-and-a-half days a week.

Meanwhile, the impact of this hybrid model is already being enjoyed. In a recent wellbeing survey conducted internally by the firm, 93% of the 2,200+ people who responded reported that they believe hybrid working – being able to work where and when works best for them – allows them to be more productive. At the same time, 91% of respondents believed that a hybrid working approach supports their wellbeing – though 1% disagreed.

Burton added, “We believe that trusting our people to decide how, where and when they work, enabled by our effective use of digital technology, will help us get the best from each other and deliver genuine value to our clients. We can already see that a hybrid working approach is having a positive impact on our people’s productivity and wellbeing, and we’ll continue to listen to our people and adapt as we go.”