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CII BLOG > Blogs > How Ask Direct are approaching hybrid and remote working

How Ask Direct are approaching hybrid and remote working

"At the heart of our thinking are a set of principles relating to how we believe work can and should be organised."
26 Jan 2022

With all the talk at the moment of remote / hybrid working and the new proposed legislation I thought I'd share the Ask Direct thinking and approach in this area.

At the heart of our thinking are a set of principles relating to how we believe work can and should be organised, how we relate to each other as colleagues and deriving from our determination to make Ask Direct the best possible place to work. 

1. Our job is to inspire as many people as possible to take action for the causes they care about, because we’ll only get a better world if people give their time, money and voice to build it. Part of that is building a better organisation for ourselves, one that is appropriate for the better world we want to see.

 2. We’re all adults. We should treat each other as responsible adults and behave as responsible adults. That means that we trust people to get on with their work, it means we meet our commitments to colleagues, clients and collaborators, and it means we hold each other to account when we don’t meet these standards.

3. Disagreement is healthy and debate is positive. Everyone has the right to challenge decisions, raise concerns and address annoyances. But when we disagree, we do so in a courteous and respectful manner. Rudeness, hostility and aggression are not acceptable.

 4. To the greatest extent possible, people and teams should make the decisions about matters that affect them.

 5. Everyone should have the greatest possible control over their own role, and the greatest possible autonomy in their work.

 6. We default to transparency. All information should be available to all team members unless it is specifically earmarked as confidential.

 7. We recognise that we are all part of different, overlapping and intersecting teams and that we have to balance our obligations to our colleagues with our own preferences for how we operate.

 8. We are a service business and our priority is to serve our clients as best we can.  

 9. Different people will have different preferences for how, where and when they work. We should enable people to work how, where and when they can do their best work.

10. There is a value and a benefit in coming together in person to help build and deepen team connections, work collaboratively, socialise and have fun.

 11. People have commitments and obligations outside of work, and these need to be acknowledged and respected when making plans and arrangements.

 12. We place a high value on supporting each other as colleagues and team-members. We raise each other up, we look out for each other and we offer help when needed.

So these are the principles and assumptions that underpin how we work. What does that look like in practice?

Our policy on "where people work" can be summed up as:

Unless there is specific work which requires being present in the office, or with a client, and with due regard for our obligations to our clients and to our colleagues, on any given day people may choose to work from home, from the office, or from an appropriate remote location.

Teams may decide to co-ordinate in-person working so that all team members are present in the office, or other appropriate location on set days or at set times. This may be done on an ad-hoc basis as circumstances dictate, or on a rolling basis.

And this bit is important...

No-one should be required to be present in the office solely to carry out work that can be done equally well remotely.

We plan to have monthly in-person team meetings. But fundamentally it's about trusting colleagues to get on with their jobs and make decisions for themselves.

I'm sure there'll be challenges and unforeseen issues as we work through this over the next few months. We're going to keep it under review and adapt as we need.

But we'll deal with those challenges as a team, and develop solutions as a team.

None of us know all the answers yet, but we'll work it out as we go.

By Damian O'Broin - Managing Director, Ask Direct

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