The pandemic opened the door to remote working, now we need to support this way of working for future generations
Agorodd y pandemig y drws i weithio o bell, nawr mae angen i ni gefnogi'r ffordd hon o weithio i genedlaethau'r dyfodol
The way people work has significantly changed since the pandemic and the Welsh Government is keen to do all it can to help lock in the positive benefits experienced by many and encourage more businesses to adopt this new approach to working.
In a strategy published today the Welsh Government sets out its plans to work with businesses, trade unions and key stakeholders to help more employers to adopt a more agile and flexible approach within their workplace, so that employees can make a choice on the way they work, whether that’s locally from a shared work space, from home, or a mixture of both.
Plans to develop an online platform that helps people find work spaces local to them is being explored, alongside best practice guidance that can be shared with businesses to help them make the move. And to help employees better understand their workforce and track trends for future development, data will be collected.
Many organisations, such as Wrexham-based communications company Moneypenny, Caerphilly-based Disability Wales and Blaenau Gwent Council to name just a few, have already adopted a remote working approach with both employees and employers reaping the benefits.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters said:
“One of the lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic is that many people don’t want to or need to be in a traditional workplace environment to carry out their work.
“Working remotely brings with it a multitude of benefits. As well as helping people escape the commute and develop a better work-life balance, working locally also plays a vital role in regenerating our town centres by bringing people into the heart of the community to work and shop, as well as reducing congestion and cutting carbon emissions.
“But we can’t deliver our ambition alone, everyone has a part to play and we will continue to spread the message to lock in the positive changes we’ve already made and address the negatives to support more businesses to make the move to flexible working.”
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
“The remote working strategy we’re launching today sets out how we’ll work to encourage more flexibility and choice for workers, and greater agility for businesses and organisations across all economic sectors.
“As set out in our Economic Mission, the benefits of remote working for businesses and organisations able to adapt are clear - increased productivity and reduced sickness absence, more job opportunities for people based in rural and semi-rural communities, and access to a wider and more diverse workforce. Furthermore, our upcoming Strategic Vision for Retail will outline how the retail sector can take advantage of people having more opportunities to work closer to home.
“We will not mandate targets for employers or individuals - instead, we’re aiming to support employers and work with trade unions to showcase what best practice looks like. We believe these new ways of working should be introduced and be maintained in line with the fair work and social partnership principles this Welsh Government is fully committed to.”
Notes to editors
A diverse list of businesses from across Wales that have adopted a successful flexible working policy are available on the Welsh Government website.
The Welsh Government’s Remote Working Strategy outlines our approach to achieving 30% of the Welsh workforce working at or near to home in this Senedd Term. It sets out the economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits of remote working, and explains how we plan to embed remote working for the long-term in the Welsh workplace.
While the remote working policy is a far reaching and cross-cutting programme of work affecting all sectors, the Welsh Government will not mandate targets for employers or individuals. Rather, it will work to encourage more flexibility, voice and choice for workers, and greater agility for businesses and organisations.
What is Remote Working?
We define remote working as working outside of a traditional workplace or central place of work for all or for part of an individual’s working hours. It includes working at home and close to home in your local community.
Remote working is based on the idea that some jobs do not need to be done in a specific place, all or part of the time, to be done successfully.
Remote working is a form of flexible working. It is also known as agile or smart working. Similarly, hybrid working may be used to describe work where time is split between a central workplace and other locations.
Flexible working covers a wider range of arrangements than remote working. Appropriate flexible working arrangements can give employees choices over when, where and the hours they work, and play a part in more fair work. We are working across government to promote and encourage different ways of working flexibly.