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Working Life at Z group (May 2020-2021) – Part 2

In part 1 of this ‘Working Life at Z group’ series we covered the feedback we received from our fellow colleagues and the changes we’ve made to accommodate it. Now we wish to reveal how things have developed a year later.

One Year On

It’s May 2021, we have now approached 1 year since our first staff survey and none of us would have ever of imagined we would still be working remotely full time! We acknowledge that it has been a tough year for all, with many working longer hours than usual, Z group decided to introduce the concept of an unlimited holiday allowance. This decision was based on wanting to give our staff more freedom to manage their work-life balance.

We most recently carried out a staff poll during one of our company calls, we asked a few of the same questions from our previous surveys.

When asked how many times a week staff would like to work from home, 53% said they would like to work from home 4 days a week with 1 day in the office. This is a major change from May 2020 as the majority of staff said they would like to work 1-2 days at home with 4-3 days in the office.

It seems there has been a shift in uncertainty as 17% are now unsure about returning to the office, 35% not ready and 48% ready – in comparison to – 7% unsure, 48% not ready and 45% ready last August. As we have all been working remotely for a year now, our May 2021 results also show that there has been a shift in preference for how often people attend the office. 44% of staff would now like to visit the office monthly (in comparison to 33% last August). Over all, staff have agreed that they are now more settled with the ‘not so new’ way of working remotely. 75% of staff said they would prefer to remain working flexibly and here at Z group we will continue to listen to staff and respect all views, comments & feedback.

Office Redesign

As mentioned in part 1, as part of our adaption to the new normal our Z group office based in Wimbledon will be reformatted. Our new office layout which will convert the reception and Architects departments of the ground floor level into a multipurpose working environment, providing hot desk workspace. Additionally, we’ll form spaces for meeting people creating both informal socially distanced open plan areas and separate meeting rooms providing safe spaces to meet both colleagues and clients allowing the redundant to be converted to residential use.

As a result of finding out how successful our team have been given the flexibility forced upon us by the lockdown, we have decided that the medium-term future of Z group will be focussed on a flexible way of working through hot-desking and these changes will enable us to adapt to both the current circumstances and office-life after the pandemic. Since the end of March we’ve demonstrated we are more than capable of working remotely and the office changes are a natural progression for us.

Our people are at the heart of the business, whilst surveys can be viewed as a time consuming pain, they are really helpful to understand what our staff need and allow us to take action to ensure we are doing our best as a business whilst we continue our journey together through these unprecedented times.

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