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

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

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

Forensic Technology at IT’s Not Just For the Boys event

Zoyah Ahmed from Forensic Technology who attended Target Jobs IT’s Not Just For the Boys event shares her recollection of the event below.

“Last month I represented Deloitte’s Forensic Technology team at Target Jobs IT’s Not Just For the Boys Event. The purpose of this event was to give female undergraduate students the opportunity to find out more about careers available to them within the technology industry.ITevent1

I took part in the ‘Insider Insights’ and ‘Networking’ sessions, in which I spoke to numerous students about my day to day role within Forensic Technology and also gave them some advice on what technology recruiters are looking for. I enjoyed these sessions as it wasn’t too long ago that I was in the same position myself, and I hope that my recent experiences and advice will help those who I spoke to.  

I also had the opportunity to attend the ‘Panel Discussion’ session in which the students had the chance to ask senior female leaders within technology questions about their careers and how they achieved their success. The leaders also gave advice on how to be successful women in technology and reach leadership positions within this field.

I attended this event to give advice to young women on how to enter the technology sector but I also learnt a lot through this event. One of the key points I took away was that as women, we tend to keep quiet about our successes, but if we have done something which deserves recognition, we should show it off it. This means when it comes to promotions, our successes are already well-known.ITevent2

The fact that I learnt so much shows the importance of attending these events: I found this event invaluable, and I am already a woman in technology. Had I attended something similar when I was a graduate it would have given me a much better understanding of the technology industry. This in turn would have helped me improve my graduate job applications. I would highly recommend all women interested in this sector to attend events like these because they give attendees a good opportunity to learn more about technology careers and how to succeed within them. 

Register now for our Forensic Technology Insight Day on 22nd March.  Further details can be found at: http://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/careers/articles/deloitte-insight-days.html"

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Posted on 16/03/2016 | 1 Comments

Apprentices in big Business? Really? Oh yes.

Ross Flanigan, Director, tells us why he is a big advocate of our Cardiff Apprenticeship scheme. 

Just a few months ago, after many more months of effort and planning and interviewing, I was so pleased to see the first group of ten Business Administration apprentices join our teams. 

The timing was great because they joined our business just as our training partner ‘Cardiff and Vale College’ opened their new and amazing city centre campus. We were all finding our way with this first group. The idea of apprentices was new to us, the college was building credentials, and the apprentices, well, they just had the small matter of setting out on their careers to think about. 

Would it work?  We didn’t know!!  But I’ve got to say, it has been an exceptional success so far, and that’s mainly down to the apprentices themselves.  Yes our Firm, our managers and the mentors have really made an effort.  Yes, the college has pulled out all the stops.  But we have been really amazed by the attitude, ability and commitment of the apprentices who are working in five different parts of our business. 

They have no preconceptions and no fear. They’ve shown that when (with just a little trepidation) we put them in for a free chat with our CEO along with the Wales First Minister and his entourage. 

So they’ve picked up the work, they’re volunteering for more, they are looking for their next career step with us, they are passing the academic bits and they are even helping more recent recruits settle in.  I think the term used is ‘exceeding expectations’. 

As it’s all going so well, we had a chance to bring everyone in the programme together for a low-key celebration just recently when apprentices, managers, mentors and our friends from the college had dinner together at the incredible rooftop restaurant ‘The Classroom’ in the new college campus.  That restaurant is a candidate for best in the city if you ask me.  But why ask me?  A little apprentice-type blogging will probably say much more.

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Brandon Edwards, KYC Analyst in Forensic, Financial Advisory, went along to the dinner. Check out his account of the evening here:

“The food was exquisite, staff delivered a first class service and the atmosphere was very relaxed. Thanks to this event, I was able to network with people that I had never met before as well as build up stronger relationships with people that I vaguely knew.

Every person that I met, no matter how high up in the company, was very welcoming, forthcoming and available for me to talk to if I had questions to ask on any topic at all. I made great personal connections with many different people who I’m pleased to say have now become friends.5

I am very grateful to be involved in this event and hope that there are more events to come which will enable me to get more involved and meet more great people.”    

P.S.
For those of you who don’t know the meaning of the finger point, it means that Deloitte are number one!

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Posted on 24/02/2016 | 0 Comments

BrightStart Celebration Evening

You may have noticed that non-graduate entry opportunities is a big priority for us. Talent is at the heart of our core values, no matter where it comes from or what shape it takes.

This is why we decided to celebrate our existing BrightStart apprentices in an evening hosted by David Sproul our CEO and Emma Codd our managing partner for Talent.

Old DSC7142 (2)We kicked things off with David Sproul welcoming us all and giving a brief overview of the strategy and the doors it can open for our people: Deloitte as the place were our apprentices can push the boundaries of discovery and exploration and where unsolvable problems are solved for the wellbeing of clients, people and society.

That is when the stars of the show took the stage! Tom Elsey and Angharad Old, two BrightStarts, shared their journey so far and proudest moments.

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Emma Codd then spoke about the future of the programme and the plan to double the number of apprentices in the firm by September 2016.

Our Head of Professional Education & Apprenticeships, Honey Clarke, also spoke about all the people in the firm that want to support apprentices, get involved and become a BrightStart Ambassador.

We rounded the evening off with Honey being joined by Emma, Gordon McFarland and Alex Sinclair for a panel session in which they took questions from the audience, before celebrations continued over drinks.

11 jan DSC7210 (2)The BrightStart scheme is the firm’s non graduate entry route into most of our professions, from audit to consultancy; a route that started in 2011 with a small number of school leavers joining Audit and Tax in London and the regions. Numbers have slowly grown to include all our career paths and, in September 2015, we saw 115 BrightStarts join Deloitte, including the delivery centre in Belfast, taking us to a total of 300.

If you or someone you know might be interested in becoming a BrightStart and gaining up to a degree-equivalent professional qualification, the application for the 2016 intake is now open.

Visit or send them to our webpage to learn more.

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Posted on 29/01/2016 | 0 Comments

Playing sport improves your employability #DeloitteDiscuss

Here at Deloitte we believe your life outside of work is as important as your life at work, so much so that we support our employees in some of their extra-curricular activities. In 2013 Deloitte and British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), the national governing body for higher education sport announced the beginning of a brand new partnership. The partnership aims to identify and offer support to club captains and other talented students to develop their leadership, communication and team skills in a business context.


OBOliver attended our annual BUCS Deloitte Leadership Academy in November 2014 and will be joining our 2015 graduate scheme in Consulting. He served as rugby secretary and Athletics Union President at Imperial College London, all while studying Chemistry with Molecular Physics and doing a year in industry.

We grabbed a few seconds with him and had a chat about his role and what impact the BUCS Deloitte Leadership Academy (BDLA) had on him.

 

 

Name

Oliver Benton

University

Imperial College London

Course

Chemistry with Molecular Physics and a Year in Industry

Sporting role

Rugby Cub Secretary, Athletics Clubs Chairman 

How has the BDLA supported you in your role?

BDLA has supported me in my role by equipping me with skills that have directly impacted how I work with and manage other volunteers. The whole two days in Hereford were fantastic and provided a great opportunity to meet both people in a similar position at different universities around the country and some really inspirational characters.

I'm still in touch with several and use them as sounding boards for ideas. Particularly useful was the second day; success depended on communicating effectively under intense pressure. Combined with the incredibly interesting negotiation training, I've been a lot more effective in my roles this year because of BDLA.

To find out more about our partnership with British Universities and Colleges Sport click here

 

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Posted on 24/06/2015 | 0 Comments

Working at Deloitte and umpiring at Wimbledon

Alex Bosshardt

 

Alex Bosshardt, a manager in the firm’s sports business group, has been involved in tennis from a young age and began officiating through the Junior Player programme set up by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).  Deloitte’s Time Out scheme enables employees to take a four-week period of unpaid leave once a year, for any reason.  Alex will take advantage of this scheme to officiate at the AEGON Championships at Queens, an ATP Challenger event in Manchester and The Championships.
 
Alex said: “Being able to take a period of unpaid leave to umpire at such a prestigious event as Wimbledon is amazing and really shows me that Deloitte is interested in the views and needs of its employees.  I started umpiring in 2005, after being encouraged by the LTA as a former junior player.  I now umpire at the event every year and was a line umpire in the Federer v Roddick 2009 final, a particularly exciting final to be involved in!  Trying to work this around holiday always proved tricky and actually adds more stress to taking time off.  I started working as a line umpire and I’m now a chair umpire, meaning the final decision of a game could rest on me – I need the time off to fully commit to the game.
 
“There is a real culture of change at the moment at Deloitte, and it is understood that people have family commitments, interests and hobbies outside of the workplace.  People are grateful to be able to spend time doing the things they love, without having to justify the request to a manager.  I believe it will encourage more people to stay at the firm, as it offers a great work life balance, which is what people want these days.”
 
We know that employees throughout our organisation want a more agile working pattern and really value time outside of work to pursue other activities, be that sporting activities, spending time with the family or just doing something they love but never normally have time to do.  We also know that even though they want this time they remain serious about their careers - they just want a better balance between life and career. Addressing this issue has been a major strategic priority for  Deloitte over the past 18 months, resulting in our WorkAgility programme, of which our award winning Time Out scheme is a key part. Our aim is to ensure that all our people are able to balance their lives with a successful and fulfilling career, that they are trusted to choose what works best for both them and the team, and that they are judged on output.

Find out more about our agile working at Deloitte here.

 

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Posted on 24/06/2015 | 0 Comments

Spring into Deloitte, Edinburgh 2015

SID

Why you got involved/what interested you into joining SID?

As a first-year student emerging from semester one, I had little clue as to what I wanted to do with my future so the opportunity to apply for a spring program where I could experience a professional atmosphere without having to determine a set career path was excellent. Deloitte appealed to me, particularly, because of their well-organised career events as well as the enthusiasm and helpfulness of the professionals who came along to them. I applied to ‘Spring into Deloitte’, thinking my experience would entail some teamwork exercises and perhaps a tour of the office but I honestly did not expect to leave feeling as inspired and motivated as I did, after just two days.

What did the event entail, what did you get up to?

Over our short time at Deloitte, we were given five insightful presentations about the different service lines the company offers. The most useful part to these was the case study exercises we completed. It allowed us to apply and expand our knowledge about the particular topic we were researching, whether it was on tax advice, auditing, consulting or even risk analysis, and it helped us to enhance our teamwork skills as well as our communication and presenting techniques. The skills and knowledge that I have picked up are invaluable to any important interviews, which I may have in the future. The feedback we were given, by the employees at Deloitte, was essential to the improvements we saw in our skills.

In addition to the Deloitte-specific exercises, we were given the most fantastic workshop on professional behaviour. The quality and expertise of the individual that spoke to us highlighted how much Deloitte valued our presence by investing in her time and skills. Furthermore, this talk was overwhelmingly useful as it opened our eyes to the effectiveness of adult behaviour and professional communication. This is something that, as young individuals, we have had little exposure to and yet it is a highly important element that we need to grasp in order to become successful.

At the end of the two days, we were given detailed information about the next steps in the Deloitte process and were able to prepare for a mock interview that we had during the final hour. The interview mirrored the format of the Summer Vacation Scheme interview and the interviewers, who were managers or senior managers, had actual experience conducting the proper interviews, themselves. This exercise left me feeling confident and prepared for the next steps and motivated to improve on what I had delivered. We received both professional feedback, which was detailed and highly constructive, as well as feedback from our peers, who were able to compare our interview to their own. 

What did you get out of the whole experience?

Overall, I have left Deloitte feeling even more determined and prepared to pursue an exciting and successful career path. The two days allowed me to decide which service line I would be suited to and filled me with confidence that Deloitte will support my every step. Furthermore, the opportunity to mix both socially and professionally with bright, like-minded individuals has enabled the best outcome from the two days, by being able to bounce off different peoples’ ideas and learn skills through teamwork and cooperation. The Deloitte professionals who shared their fantastic stories have inspired me and it is clear that the company nurtures success on a global scale. The Deloitte team was very well organized, happy to be with us and probed us constantly for constructive feedback, so that they could improve even further. This whole experience has been instrumental in motivating me to take those extra steps towards creating a career for myself as well as providing me with unique insights into Deloitte and the professional world. I am so excited to see where Deloitte might take me and to potentially succeed and prosper within such a well-established company. ‘Spring into Deloitte’ has set me up with the foundations I need to do this.

 

Katherine Wilson

 

 

A review from Katherine Wilson - First year student at Kings College London

 

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Posted on 28/04/2015 | 0 Comments