BDO NI launch agile working framework

Belfast business advisory firm ends 9-5 working day to replace it with a flexible hybrid model for staff to manage their own working day

By Claire Cartmill
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 11:00 am

Business advisory firm BDO Northern Ireland has launched its new agile working framework aimed at supporting over 150 employees to have a sustainable work life balance.

Following a period of consultation with staff, BDO NI developed the framework which will see the end of the traditional 9-5 working day and replaced with a flexible hybrid model which will give employees the authority to manage their own working day.

Lisa McAleer, human resources manager for BDO Northern Ireland, said: “This framework, which was developed in consultation with employees facilitates a range of working arrangements which will allow our teams to work around other commitments while continuing to deliver for clients.

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Anna Turbitt, senior audit manager at BDO Northern Ireland with her colleague Lisa McAleer, human resources manager

“Flexibility and trust are central themes of this new arrangement, alongside the work we do with clients at their sites, our teams have the choice of working at home or in the office during the week. We have embraced this new flexible model of working, viewing it as key to attracting and retaining our staff, and ultimately therefore the future success of our business.”

In a recent survey commissioned by BDO, 44% of leaders of medium-sized businesses (turnover £10m-£300m) across the UK have introduced, or plan to introduce, permanent hybrid working. BDO NI has supported their clients in adapting to the post pandemic working environment, identifying new innovative and technological ways towards a ‘smarter workforce’.

Nigel Harra, senior partner at BDO Northern Ireland, added: “The pandemic forced us all to re-evaluate every area of our personal and professional lives. Prior to Covid, working from home for many was a novelty, and not something thought to be practical for longer periods. However, necessity is the parent of invention, and we have found over the last two years that many companies across industries that were able to accommodate a form of hybrid working found a more productive motivated workforce.

“The new framework continues to encourage collaborative working, mentoring and downtime with colleagues and this will be led by employees with the full support of management.”

This new way of working will support BDO NI staff manage work life commitments without compromising on either.

Anna Turbitt, senior audit manager explained: “I have been with BDO NI for over 16 years and in that time, I have had three children and have been encouraged in the development of my career in the Audit team. Balancing life and work for a parent can be challenging at times and I have been able to adjust my working pattern through the years to accommodate both.

“With BDO’s new agile working policy it means that achieving a balance between life and work becomes the norm for everyone, at every stage of their life and career.”