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Citi, Winner 2012, The National Grid Best for Innovation Award

Citi is a large banking group employing over 8,500 people in the UK. The company has had well-developed flexible policies for a decade, but like many organisations, take-up of flexibility has been variable. Citi has identified that the manager’s attitude to flexible working is the key component into whether flexible work arrangements succeed or fail.  Citi’s regional CEO is personally committed to this Agenda, and is a member of the Employer Working Group on Flexible Work, set up by the Deputy Prime Minister. Together the group of 17 CEO’s are committed to pooling and sharing best practice to encourage greater utilisation of agile working strategies as a means of developing innovation, profitability and skills for UK businesses.

As a primarily London-based company in the UK, Citi has leveraged the London 2012 Olympics as an opportunity to embed flexibility as a ‘must have’, not a ‘nice to have way’ of working throughout the organisation. From June 2011 they have planned their strategy which included:

  • An online resource that allows teams to plan working patterns. Agile work (from home, early start/finish) is scheduled in a way that supports the wider team and also meets customer requirements. Managers can access these plans to see weekly and monthly work patterns and arrangements
  • An investment in technology which supports remote working. 96 percent of employees can now access systems remotely
  • Phone system allows seamless switch through of office numbers to home phones or mobiles
  • Mobiles, laptops and Blackberries have been provided, along with video call technology to encourage face-to-face remote contact
  • Training has been given to managers and employees on how to work in an agile way
  • Drop-in clinics are available for employees to go over their technical setup issues, and learn about what tech is available for effective working
  • A communication plan was developed which lead all staff through the planning and implementation stages in the run-up to the launch of the Olympics
  • Test days, enabling agile working to test for any issues

As a result of the test days Citi have been able to refine the information and deployment of their programme. Throughout the Olympics they will send out regular pulse surveys to staff to gain feedback on productivity and performance, impact and challenges.  Leveraging London 2012 is a catalyst to embed flexibility at a cultural level within the organisation and provides a unique opportunity to push this agenda forward.