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Home » Career Transformation » How supporting employees can create the workplace of the future

James Magill

Human Resources Director, Vodafone Ireland

Offering purposeful work, enabling true flexibility and supporting employees through all life stages as we emerge from the pandemic are the ingredients for successful workplace transformation.

After two years of disruption to ways of working globally, we now have the opportunity to recreate the future of work, one that is not fixed on a location but on our people’s connection. As such, we can create a more inclusive environment and challenge ourselves to remove any barriers to inequality when redesigning our future employee experience and office environment.

Employee expectations are shifting dramatically. Firstly, employees want to find meaning and purpose in their work more than ever before. A purposeful organisation creates a common goal that people feel empowered to work towards collaboratively.

Vodafone’s purpose is to ‘connect for a better future’ which is underpinned by our three pillars of: digital society, planet and inclusion for all. It is important that we are connecting for good in our society today and making a difference in people’s lives. Many of our partnerships with organisations like Women’s Aid, ALONE and Autism Ireland underpin our commitment to this purposeful work that brings greater meaning to all our employees day to day.

Focusing on flexibility

True flexibility is founded in the right culture and workplace environment which is fully engaged and lived by the leadership community. At Vodafone, we take an approach that follows all life stages of our employees to sustain the right supports for them throughout their career.

In close partnership with our people, we’ve been shaping our ‘Future of Work’ experience through our Future Ready programme and the implementation of a 60:40 hybrid model. All our people spend 60% of their time working remotely, and the other 40% of their time working together in the office. Additionally, we are delighted to offer our people the opportunity to work fully remotely 20 working days per year either within Ireland, or outside of it.  

The model has been designed to offer clear benefits such as reduced commuter times, greater choice in relation to where you live and increased productivity for certain activities while also balancing the desire for the emotional connection and collaboration with colleagues in the office.

A purposeful organisation creates a common goal that people feel empowered to work towards collaboratively.

Empowering employees through wellbeing policies

Additionally, our ground-breaking family friendly and wellbeing policies empower employees to manage their career alongside life commitments or experiences.

Alongside our maternity and adoptive leave policy, we offer non-birthing parents 16 weeks leave and a phased return to work – regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or length of service. We also offer carer’s leave, term-time leave and flexibility on start and finish times to support those with caring responsibilities.

Just recently we announced our new fertility and pregnancy policies which include extended leave for those dealing with fertility treatment and pregnancy loss as well as their partners.

Sustainable workplace transformation

Employee well-being is also central to creating sustainable transformation in the workplace. We focus not only on physical wellbeing but also on the bigger issues or life-challenges that might be impacting our people. Vodafone has pioneered a substantive domestic violence and abuse policy to support individuals while in the workplace.

Recently, we announced our global commitment on menopause to ensure employees are supported during this time of their life and we have clear goals in relation to addressing mental health challenges.

Change is never easy, but it is now being mandated by employees. We are embracing this change to ensure that we are equipping our people with the tools and supports to grow with us in their career alongside the key milestones and decisions in their life.

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