Case study: BAE Systems.

BAE Systems Naval Ships division introduced ‘smart working’ options for production teams, professionals and managers in 2013 – and during the following year employees benefitted from more than 60,000 hours of flexitime with the business netting a £500k saving through the resulting reductions in overtime payments.

Adopting carefully crafted principles – which include a commitment to fairness and consistency - the company also recorded a drop in absenteeism and paid medical appointments through use of popular ‘pop-outs’, allowing staff to leave to attend personal appointments with the bank, doctor or dentist.

Staff also say the opportunity to balance work and personal commitments lets them avoid rush hour traffic, exercise at convenient times and visit relatives.

In a move to further expand their flexible working offering, the company undertook a home working feasibility study last year, with participating employees reporting: reduced pressure to be seen in the office; a marked improvement in team working and communication; an ease in transition to work after-maternity leave; and greater control in managing life’s daily responsibilities.

This increased flexibility means that valued employees like Justine Nicholson, who works four days a week as a Project Engineer in Govan, can organise her working week to make best use of her time. When she works at home, she can start before her children are up, see them off to school and resume working mid-morning. And she avoids the morning traffic congestion.

Justine explains: “In the afternoon, when I finish work, I can go straight into ‘Mummy Mode’. Feeling valued as an employee is great motivation to continually be as productive as possible – and I hope that lots of other employees will be able to benefit as I have.”

Justine is just one of Naval Ships’ 3650 employees whose families’ lives are enriched by the company’s progressive approach to flexible, family-friendly working.