BPDTS strives to deliver exceptional service to our customer, the Department for Work and Pensions. Giving employees more of the flexibility they need to accomplish the things they want to do personally, outside of work is part of our commitment to work-life balance.
Smarter working for better balance
Smarter working practices help people perform at their best, be more productive, and generally, be happier. Here at BPDTS, smarter working is proactively encouraged and simple to do. We trust our employees to decide when and where they need to work from to deliver personal and team goals. Here are some of the ways BPDTS colleagues are utilising flexible working policies to improve their work-life balance.
Providing vital services to the NHS
By day, Garry Crooks works as a DSPM for BPDTS; by night, he volunteers as a Blood Biker for Blood Bikes Lancs & Lakes. The free, professional, voluntary service operates out of regular working hours, delivering blood, platelets, samples, donor breast milk, patient notes, and theatre equipment for the NHS.
“Although my role as a Digital Service Practice Manager in one of the largest practices at BPDTS keeps me pretty busy, volunteering is in my DNA, and it’s important to me. BPDTS supports my charity volunteering on several fronts.
BPDTS offers different options where I can use paid charity days to conduct fundraising, training, and many other requirements from being a member of a charity organisation. The benefit is fantastic as it means I don’t need to lose a day of pay to support the charity.
Our smarter working policy allows me to manage my time effectively and not be an 8 am to 4:30 pm employee. Our CEO’s focus is on delivery and outcomes, not spending hours tied to our laptops or workstations. If I need to start later on any day, it’s an accepted norm.”
Juggling care taking responsibilities
Around 9.1 million people in the UK are carers, looking after a parent, partner, child, or friend. More than 62% of these individuals are juggling caring responsibilities with work. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 4.5 million additional people are caring for older, disabled, or seriously ill relatives or friends; as the impact continues, these figures are likely to rise.
BPDTS Business Compliance Manager, Debbie Liddle, is a long-term carer for her son diagnosed with Down's Syndrome and autism. The Carer's Passport is a lifeline, helping Debbie to juggle her work and caring responsibilities successfully.
“Since joining BPDTS, I’ve felt supported in every way. I have a brilliant relationship with my manager at BPDTS. They go out of their way to understand my situation and give me all the support I need to care for my Joel and the rest of my family, look after my wellbeing and be successful in my job....Being in a caring role is like spinning plates. Working in a supportive environment is what helps keep our plates in a steady motion. BPDTS allows flexibility around caring commitments such as appointments and emotional stresses.”
A job share suits employees and the company
Sometimes the most natural solution is the hardest to see. When 2 BPDTS employees nearing retirement wanted to continue working at reduced hours, they put their heads together to create a new job-sharing arrangement with a twist.
An unusual spin on a job share allows Nigel Sutton and Colin Hutchinson to extend their professional lives while ensuring critical corporate knowledge and skills are retained. Without the chance to work reduced hours, Nigel Sutton and Colin Hutchinson might have taken the option to retire fully.
Creating a job share allows them to continue working in a way that suits their life and the company. Through careful planning and commitment, Nigel and Colin are extending the longevity of their careers, each working 3 days a week.
Working remotely while self-isolating
David Hutchinson, Test Engineer at BPDTS, spent months in self-isolation during the lockdown. Born with a double inlet left ventricle and transposition of the great arteries, he's been on the transplant list since October 2018. David’s experience coping with loneliness, anxiety, and melancholy was made more bearable with support from his team and line manager.
"At the beginning of the lockdown, I'd tried to keep to the standard working pattern, believing that the established structure would best suit my day. However, it was more limiting. As the months rolled on and I got used to the routine of living alone, I was able to become more productive with my days by creating structures that made the most of my personal time. It was BPDTS's flexible working policy that enabled me to achieve this."
“To improve my mood, I reached out to more people. My Digital Service Practice Manager, Sarah McNally, arranged a regular coffee morning catch up.... I joined Strava and started clocking up the miles. I still went out early to avoid people but being on the bike made it easier to socially distance, and over time I became less anxious about being out and about.”
Lockdown has been a challenge to many of us. But for the people told they couldn’t leave home, it’s incredibly difficult. David’s persevered, working in isolation, focusing on work, and reaching out to colleagues to stay engaged.
Freedom and flexibility
BPDTS’s smarter working approach is designed to empower people to decide when and how best to work to meet personal and professional goals. During the lockdown and beyond, we all experienced a collision between our professional and personal lives.
“If someone has parental duties or needs to attend personal appointments, that’s a well-trodden path. We’re trusted as professionals to get our jobs done on time while maintaining a good work-life balance,” explains Garry Crooks, Digital Service Practice Manager, BPDTS.
BPDTS flexible and smarter working approaches have become the norm for many employees; our progressive policies contribute to why BPDTS is such a great place to work.