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Introducing Redwood's flexible working policy

Introducing Redwood's flexible working policy

7 March 2024

We sat down with James, our Head of Operations, to talk about the reasoning and thought process behind this evolution, "Our existing benefits policy had been in place for some time, and whilst it was generous at the time of inception it had run the risk of falling behind the times. We wanted to make sure that when we rethought our offering for 2024, that it was once again the best it could possibly be."

One of the key considerations was to ensure we had a formal flexible working policy that could be as inclusive as possible to benefit employees and the business. "The key thing that so many people get wrong about the working-from-home versus office debate, is that it's not one or the other - it's called flexible working because it's designed to work around the lives of our employees. My life is very different to that of a colleague and we need to be as flexible and as inclusive for as many people as possible."

So what have we introduced as part of our new Flexible Working Policy?

Core Hours: We want to ensure people can adapt their hours from time-to-time, not everybody can always get a doctor's appointment in their lunch hour, or maybe somebody wants to start early and finish early to go out with friends - there's no reason required. Our core hours, during which we require availability online, are from 10 am to 3 pm. Of course, we'll be flexible beyond that for when circumstances require it, which is at a line manager's discretion.

Hybrid Working: We've seen so many companies repeatedly change tack on their working-from-home policies, many offering "fully remote" and then demanding everybody back to the office 6 months later because they didn't put in the right policies or controls. With that in mind, we ask that people attend the office 2 full days or 4 half days per week, allowing them to work from home for the remainder of the week if they choose.. All we ask is that it's communicated to their line manager in advance and they update their "Status" on Teams, e.g. "Working from home this morning".

Compressed Hours: We've kept this one really simple, stating that we'll allow people to complete their contracted hours over fewer days (e.g. 4 x 9 hour days) and that this is agreed in advance with their line manager.

But the real jewel in our Flexible Working policy crown is the introduction of a Work From Anywhere ("WFA") policy that allows our staff to work abroad for up to 60 days per year. There are so many benefits to a WFA policy, allowing people to extend their holidays, maybe visit family for Christmas, or just to experience a different part of the world. Our main rule is that you need to book your WFA leave in blocks of at least 5 days and no more than 20 days at a time.

"I'm sure we'll evolve the policy as we learn more about what works and what doesn't. However, I feel putting in a minimum requirement should minimise disruption for both staff and Redwood. There's quite a few hoops we have to jump through to make sure we get this right and it would be quite time-consuming going through that, to work remotely for one day, sixty times a year".

Rest assured, we have put controls and security measures in place from a data and compliance perspective to protect our staff, our data and us as a business.

Want to see what it's like to work at an employer that truly values work-life balance? Check out our careers page, here.

Earlier this year we launched our Work From Anywhere policy as part of a sweeping review of our benefits package and our approach to flexible working.

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