Work Life Balance Day
Location: 3 locations in Dublin
Funding was granted to Oracle for a three stranded project
- Recruitment of a project co-ordinator responsible for research, promotion, organisation assessment and implementation
- Preparation and administration of a survey on work life balance within the company including collection of data and purchase of international surveys
- Promotional activities - upgrading of induction video, printed materials, competitions, Support Group Activities, and manager employee expectations.
Number of employees:
Participants:all staff members should benefit from having people dedicated to this project (project co-ordinator) and from the improvement of internal communication in the area, all new staff will benefit from the upgrading of the induction video.
Management was surveyed Employees currently availing of Flexible Work options surveyed
At the commencement of the project Oracle had some employees availing of flexible working although in some cases the take up is low and sometimes informal.
As part of the initial research Oracle carried out both internal and external research. The external research consisted of three stages which were completed as part of the project:
- Researching Flexible Working / Family Friendly initiatives Relevant websites were researched (IBEC, WorkLifeBalance, individual companies sites, etc?.) on flexible working options and best practise. Existing case studies were analysed to identify issues which other organisations experienced in relation to the implementation of Flexible Working. A consultant was engaged to draft a report on Family Friendly Initiatives outlining the benefits, challenges, implementation and current practice in Ireland.
- Collecting data internationally Relevant International and UK websites were researched on flexible working options and trends in those countries.
- Benchmarking other Companies within Ireland and Europe Due to the lack of information in Ireland as part of the research on companies in Ireland Oracle facilitated a forum on Flexible Working on the 25th of March 2003. A number of companies were invited to take part in a survey and attend the Forum.
The Forum consisted of a brief presentation on the results of the Company Survey and then a round table discussion covering:
Managing Associated Cultural Change
Two in-house surveys were designed and carried out, one of employees currently availing of Flexible Work Options and a second of managers of employees currently availing of these. All of the employees and managers felt that flexible working has had a positive impact on:
Reduction in Stress All employees availing of eWorking and Flexitime felt that these had a significant impact in reducing the amount of time spent commuting.
- 1. To promote Flexible Working internally, the research was presented to senior management to gain buy in and backing to promote to line managers and employees.
- 2. Workshops were designed for managers to identify areas of need and select suitable pilot groups. This also identified possible Flexible Working options.
- 3. Designed a focus group meeting structure for employees to select the most suitable Flexible Work option for the pilot group.
- 4. Implemented the chosen Flexible Work option for pilot group.
- 5. Set up tracking and reporting structure to measure results.
Initially the following obstacles were encountered:
Identifying Suitable Roles/Employees
Measuring results - difficulty in measuring intangible results
Lack of information relevant to Irish Market
Diversity of Organisation
The workshops for the managers have helped to overcome these obstacles.
Through this project Oracle learned a great deal about the introduction of flexible working. The following is a list of recommendations that they would make to others considering the introduction of flexible working:
- Start small and establish a pilot group
- Provide sufficient information to all managers
- Consider the areas most likely to benefit from Flexible Working first as these will then pave the way for other teams
- Promote internally
Work Completed to Date:
To date the organisation has three pilot groups running.
1: Compressed Working
A: This pilot has been running for over 9 months in the recruitment team (10 employees). It has had a very positive impact on the team and it has been decided to adopt this initiative on a permanent basis moving forward.
B: The Spanish sales team (20 employees) introduced this option 6 months ago. This was based on the request of the employees themselves. It is proving to be very beneficial.
2: Staggered Hours This option is now widespread throughout the organisation. This is largely driven by the business needs to service an EMEA customer base. This pilot was rolled out 2 months ago and to date it has had a positive impact on the performance and morale of the team.
Due to the extensive research and documentation completed over the past 18 months, Oracle is now in a position to roll out a further number of pilot groups throughout the organisation. They have a suite of workshops and documentation prepared to enable them to continue the extension of the Work/Life Balance initiatives to the rest of the organisation.