Positive impact of agile working in our Newcastle office

Laura Harvey is a Professional Standards Review (PSR) manager in the Newcastle office. Since joining the firm in 2015 she has worked on a part-time basis and comes into the office only three days a week so that she can spend more time with her children. She flexes her work hours to arrive and leave an hour earlier than standard office hours, working from 8am to 4.30pm instead of 9am to 5.30pm.

Laura says, “The Deloitte agile working approach allows me to maximise the amount of quality time I get to spend with my two young children, whilst maintaining the career I worked so hard to achieve. I really do believe that I have the best of both worlds and a healthy balance that works for both me and my family. I think it’s incredibly innovative to recognise and appreciate that a ‘one size fits all’ contract could mean missing out on some of the best talent in the market and ultimately impact upon staff morale.”

Since its introduction in June 2014, agile working has proven to be one of the most popular and innovative ways in which Deloitte has shaped its culture. From informally flexing working hours to formally changing contracted work days and hours, agile working covers a broad spectrum of options and can be tailored to fit all kinds of lifestyles. It is a concrete example of Deloitte’s commitment to an agile and inclusive working environment that benefits both the firm and its employees.

Agile working is based on the three core principles of trust & respect, focus on output and open two-way communication.

Trust & respect

The approach nurtures a relationship of trust and respect between Deloitte and its employees. It gives employees the freedom to tailor their working arrangements so they can enjoy non-work commitments and priorities, but also ensure they’re delivering the quality output the firm expects of them. Deloitte recognises that employees who feel trusted to manage their work deliverables flexibly are more inclined to perform at their best in the workplace.

Agile working allows flexibility and even reduced hours, but this is not driven by a lack of commitment or interest in the job. Before adopting an agile working arrangement, staff must carefully consider the impact of their proposed work arrangements on their respective teams and on their job performance.

Laura is of course not the only employee to grasp the opportunities afforded by agile working:

Carey Stuart from the Newcastle office works two full days a week in the office and two mornings at home to fit in with her children’s school and pre-school hours. She enjoys being able to do the school runs three days a week, to still have some quality time with her family, while enjoying the challenges and stimulation that work provides.

“For me, our agile working approach is key to ensuring we’re retaining a very talented and dedicated pool of people that, for one reason or another, don’t want to (or can’t) have the working hours of a full time role. The reduction in hours does not show less dedication to your job. It’s purely that you are sharing that dedication with another part of your life right now. Being able to maintain the balance of work life and home life, and not prioritising one over the other, is extremely valuable and I feel very fortunate that I’ve found a role at Deloitte that allows me to do that,” says Carey, a PSR senior manager.

Focus on output

Deloitte holds the view that performance should be based on the quality of work and not on the number of hours spent in the office. Although everyone has a contracted workplace, there is an option to work from any Deloitte office, from a client site, from home or even at a public location as long as this does not cause any conflict with the firm’s privacy and security policies.

“Giving people the freedom of agile working doesn’t automatically mean that everyone disappears from the office. Being given this option means that, when I do need to work away from the office, there is no stress or worry attached to not being sat my desk. I think our agile working culture also erodes the negative impact that presenteeism can have: lots of us aren’t at our desk all hours of the day and it is recognised that our teams can be equally or more productive when working in an agile way. What this has meant for me this year, during my wife’s pregnancy, is that I have been able to attend whatever medical appointments she had and make up for the time I missed later in the day” shares David Robinson, a PSR manager in Newcastle.

While agile working has helped a lot of working parents within the firm, the option is not limited to them. It is open to all employees who wish to achieve a good balance between their work and personal commitments.

Taisheen Anver Khan, a PSR manager from the London office, appreciated how agile working was beneficial during Ramadan: “Agile working was helpful, as my sleeping and eating patterns varied from normal.”

Open two-way communication

Having open two-way communication is key to making agile working a success. The firm encourages employees to discuss proposed changes in working arrangements openly with their manager to achieve a solution that works for everyone. Formal changes have trial periods and working arrangements are continuously under review to ensure the arrangement is working for all parties.

Suzanne Green, a Newcastle PSR manager, says “Agile working was a key factor in choosing my current job. At the moment I can easily flex my hours to fit in everything from fitness classes to visiting my family who live over 200 miles away, by keeping my team at work informed about my schedule.”

Over the two and a half years that agile working has been in place, early indications are that it has had a measurable positive impact on employee engagement. The firm is continuing to monitor the effectiveness of its flexible working strategy and is committed to improving the experience for all its people.

Read more of our agile working stories here.

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Posted on 26/01/2017 | 0 Comments

Rob Young, winner of 2015-16 CAVC Apprenticeship Award

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It was a proud night for our colleagues in Wales as one of their apprentices took home the Apprentice Award.


Rob Young joined Deloitte in September 2015 as part of the newly created Cardiff Apprenticeship programme. Our partnership with Cardiff & Vale College (CAVC) allows us to offer on-the-job business administration experience to people across the region. Rob joined the Tax GES Centre of Excellence Team in Cardiff on a 12-month apprenticeship.


Red carpet moment


Fast forward 12 months: Rob was chosen from CAVC learners across all curriculum areas for his outstanding achievements in the year, and took home the Apprenticeship Award for the 2015-16 academic year. Congratulations!


What’s next? Rob successfully applied to the Audit BrightStart programme which started in September 2016. It combines on-the-job learning with study towards a professional qualification, and comes with a salary and benefits too.


Good to know

We know that a traditional university degree is not right for everyone. If you know someone that would rather get a head start in their career and start earning while they learn, BrightStart may well be a better option – find out more.

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Posted on 01/11/2016 | 0 Comments

Test your problem solving skills: Forensic Technology Challenge #4

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Paying homage to our fondness of brain-teasers, every month we post a new challenge created by the Forensic Technology team, focusing on logical, analytical and coding problems.


Analysing data for patterns/trends is an important part of what we do in Forensic Technology. With this in mind we have returned to our programming roots for this month’s challenge. Can you write a script to solve the below…?


i) What are the factors of 379065191139531?

ii) What connects 35432488 with these numbers: 806095675586097, 7405814774826 and 379065191139531

We’ll be posting our Python based solution next month at which point we will bid you farewell for the year. We hope to be back next year with more puzzles but in a different format so make sure you keep an eye out for our return!

Enjoyed this? Check out our other Forensic Technology blog posts


If you are someone who enjoys problem-solving, logical thinking and technology, check out our Forensic Technology graduate professional roles to see if they are the right fit.

 

What's the answer?

For the final time this year we present our solution to the challenge we have set you:

i) Below is the code we used in Python 3.5 to calculate the factors of 379065191139531:

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ii) As alluded to in part i) the first step to solving ii) is to get the factors of 806095675586097, 7405814774826 and 379065191139531. The next part is not so obvious. First we need the common factors of the 3 numbers we were just looking at. Then with some outside-the-box thinking we sum over these common factors to arrive at 35432488.

The code to do this is below:

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We hope to be back next year bigger and better so keep a look out for future posts.

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Posted on 27/10/2016 | 0 Comments

Test your problem solving skills: Forensic Technology Challenge #3

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Paying homage to our fondness of brain-teasers, every month we post a new challenge created by the Forensic Technology team, focusing on logical, analytical and coding problems.


For this month’s challenge, we are heading over to Rio (figuratively) and getting into the spirit of the Paralympic games. Using the publicly available data for the last two Paralympics (Beijing and London), we want you to predict using a mathematical model how many gold medals ParalympicsGB will win in Rio.

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Posted on 14/09/2016 | 0 Comments

Reading’s BrightStart apprentices challenge local schools in essay writing competition

508373_Deloitte_BrightStartReading_BlogHeaderDeloitte team members from left to right: Ella Kemp (BrightStart), Andy Gardner (Summer Vacation Scheme Graduate), Katie Barrows (Scholar), Zoë Dexter (BrightStart), Victoria Elkins (BrightStart), Claire Siviter (Talent Director – South Region) and Hugh Knudsen (Scholar).

Zoë is a BrightStart Apprentice working in our Reading office. Zoë identified that when giving careers advice, her school placed a lot of emphasis on traditional university routes and lacked awareness of alternative pathways. To try and remedy this, she proposed the idea of an essay competition, designed to challenge local students to consider a wider range of school leaver opportunities. A small team, led by two of our BrightStart apprentices, pulled together to make this happen. We caught up with Zoë to find out more...

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Posted on 25/08/2016 | 0 Comments

Test your problem solving skills: Forensic Technology Challenge #2

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Paying homage to our fondness of brain-teasers, every month we post a new challenge created by the Forensic Technology team, focusing on logical, analytical and coding problems.


For this month’s challenge you need to put your spy hat on and decrypt a message.

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Posted on 09/08/2016 | 4 Comments

Golden opportunity for Impact Award winners

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On Saturday 16 July the winning four teams from the Impact Awards were given an opportunity to see-off the ParalympicsGB athletes in style at the Deloitte sponsored Team Launch. The Impact Awards celebrates employees that make an impact that matters—for clients, for our people, and for society.

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Posted on 08/08/2016 | 0 Comments

Forensic Technology Challenge – Bonus Question

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Already solved the #4TechChallenge for this month? Here’s a bonus question to keep your mind in challenge mode:

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Posted on 15/07/2016 | 2 Comments

Test your problem solving skills: Forensic Technology Challenge #1

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In Forensic Technology complex problem solving is a large part of our day-to-day work.

Paying homage to our fondness of brain-teasers, we’re launching a monthly Forensic Technology Challenge - a new series of logical, analytical and coding problems that put into practice the STEM, finance and technology skills essential to our work.

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Posted on 08/07/2016 | 8 Comments

Weekend sailing with Forensic Technology

Here at Deloitte we have a really active sailing club and each year in April, we hold our annual spring regatta. We charter 20 boats for the weekend and encourage both experienced sailors and novices to get out onto the water.   On each boat we have an experienced skipper plus two experienced crew members who act as hosts. There’s room for eight people on each boat and the rest of the places are open to people with little or no experience of sailing. I’ve been one of the experienced crew members for several years now and always look forward to meeting new people and sharing my passion for sailing with them.

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Posted on 05/05/2016 | 0 Comments