BRIDGEND Council has decided to adopt a permanent hybrid working policy for the majority of its staff, it has been announced.
The move will now see most of the local authorities staff working from home or in a range of buildings during their working week, following the success of an interim policy that was put in place in October 2022.
The new policy was approved at a cabinet meeting held by the council on December 19, with a report which highlighted how staff members had been largely positive about the plans with 72% of those who were asked saying they were satisfied with them.
Officers said they had also been in talks with trade unions during the interim period, adding that the feedback they had received reflected that given in a staff survey earlier this year.
The report said the policy was in line with the authority’s commitment to “improving the work environment of employees by enabling greater flexibility in relation to remote working”, as well as with the Welsh Government’s goal of achieving as a minimum 30% of workforce being agile and working from home at any given point by 2024.
The report read: “The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 led to the council having to adapt and deliver many services virtually with employees often working remotely from their homes. Whilst not all services were impacted in this way, with some employees continuing throughout to work full time from service delivery locations, these experiences created an opportunity to review the council’s operating model with a view to ensuring that the council is fit for purpose moving forward.
“A hybrid working model offers a blended approach that can take account of the wide range of services delivered by the council. The application of hybrid working is dependent on the demands and needs of the role undertaken by the employee and the service within which the role is based. It also offers employees greater flexibility in their work practices, promoting a better work life balance.”
Council leader Huw David welcomed the move and said: “I’m certainly in support and I’m pleased to see that we’ve got support from our trade union colleagues on this representing the work force. It’s now seen as an advantage to the organisation and a benefit for some people who want to work for the organisation. That’s important because we know we struggle to recruit in all sorts of departments and services now.”