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Dunelm & Travis Perkins outline back to work initiatives

HR and reward leaders have shared their new strategies including one dubbed ‘Feeling at home’ and another called ‘Me at my Best’.


As yesterday marked ‘Freedom Day’, employers are now starting to think about how their workplaces should operate now that covid restrictions have been eased.


Some are encouraging staff to come back full time, others are embracing a mixture of home working and time in the office, while others are giving staff full autonomy over where and when they choose to work.


The likes of Twitter and Deloitte for example have told staff that they can work from home forever, while travel firm TUI will only require its employees to come into the office once a month to attend face to face team meetings or collaboration events.


Now other businesses have shared their plans now that work from home guidance has been scrapped.


‘Feeling at home’

On LinkedIn, Dunelm’s stores & people director, Amanda Cox, shared that the home furnishings retailer is taking “an individual approach to hybrid working rather than being prescriptive”. As part of a new initiative called ‘Feeling at home’, the employer wants every employee to feel at home wherever they work, because as Cox said, “each individual is best placed to balance the personal freedom to be their best self, alongside the shared responsibility of stronger together”.


She concluded: “At Dunelm everyone being comfortable in their own skin is so important because it provides psychological safety to be our very best.”


‘Me at my best’

Commenting on Dunelm’s Cox’s post on the professional networking site, Helen McGowan, reward manager at Travis Perkins, noted that the builders’ merchants is taking on a similar approach now that employees can return to the workplace, with the introduction of a scheme called ‘Me at my Best’. McGowan wrote: “We’ve had 1-2-1s with line managers to discuss what our own individual working needs are to allow us to be at our best. Absolutely brilliant initiative.”


She shared that those who “thrive” on contact with others in the office have that option, while those who feel more productive at home but would like to see others have that option as well, giving staff total autonomy over where they work. She added: “Completely flexible, family friendly and what’s best for the individual.”


The hybrid way

Similarly, baby food manufacturer Ella’s Kitchen revealed that it is adopting a hybrid approach to working. Having finally reopened its Barns to welcome back staff, the firm shared on LinkedIn that there are new facilities available such as hand sanitiser stations, while a new app is now available so that “people can have complete autonomy on what days they come in and where they sit”.


In addition, the business has introduced new sound cancelling headphones too, which it is hoping “will help with our new hybrid way of working” to maintain productivity as employees transition back to some form of office life.

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