Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) in Reading has introduced a new agile way of working which puts staff wellbeing at the heart of the organisation.

The company which provides early help, education and children’s services in the busy Berkshire town has made a commitment to allow staff to choose when, where and how they work, in accordance with their roles.

Agile working allows individuals to decide whether they base themselves in the company’s town centre office Monday to Friday, work mostly from home or set themselves up in a café or other location a couple of days a week.

Senior leaders at BFfC supported the move to more flexible working arrangements after seeing how successfully staff had adapted to providing vital services to families in Reading throughout the pandemic.

The company’s agile working statement of commitment says staff are trusted to deliver, perform and contribute to the highest standards and that flexibility is the norm and not the exception.

It goes on to say performance will be judged on results rather than presence and people will have the opportunity to lead balanced and healthy lives.

Di Smith, Board Chair of Brighter Futures for Children, said: “Agile working is a win-win for everyone as it allows staff to work in a way which suits them and enables them to perform their best for the company, and ultimately for the children and young people of Reading.

“Spending time and money sitting in traffic or standing in a train carriage during peak travel times makes no sense when work can be carried out just as effectively elsewhere or at a different time of day. Agile working also underpins our commitment to inclusion and reduces our impact on the environment.

“Of course, some roles are more suited to agile working than others, but we believe a flexible approach will help create more motivated and productive teams and individuals to deliver the best possible services to Reading’s children and young people.”

Agile Working was introduced following a pilot in which 93% of BFfC staff involved said they would like to continue working from home after lockdown, and 83% said it provided them with greater flexibility and freedom of choice.

Brighter Futures for Children, a not-for-profit company, wholly owned by, but independent of, Reading Borough Council, came out of government intervention in February following continued improvements to its services.

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