Experiment and evaluate were the key themes that emerged from the Social Business Trust (SBT) ‘Different Ways of Working: The Future of Work’ charity seminar in June.

David Savage, Partner, Charles Russell Speechlys, Faye Farrant, Head of Talent and Inclusion, Schroders, and Philip Deitemeyer, Partner, Bain joined a panel discussion and presented their respective firms’ approach to the new working world. They were joined by Social Enterprises from across the SBT portfolio, including Challenge Partners, who work to accelerating school improvements, London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) who provide high quality early years care for all and Catch22 who work to build resilience and aspiration in people and communities.

“We trust everybody. Different roles have different requirements. It is going to be incredibly difficult to have a one size fits all calibration of a policy. We can afford to take some time, and allow teams to experiment fairly organically in terms of the opportunity to return to the office and work differently in the future, taking into account all of the dimensions of this debate”.                                                                                                                             – David Savage, Charles Russell Speechlys

“Be deliberate. Why are people going to the office and when they do go to the office, let’s sure that they’re using that time to connect face-to-face with people. None of our organisations have the answers and is worth just experimenting and continuing to evaluate and adjust the approach to find the right landing point for where you want to get to, in terms of a work model”.                                                                                                                                                                – Phil Deitemeyer, Bain

When discussing new meeting patterns, Faye Farrant, Schroders, said, “Experiment and work out what will work and what won’t work, don’t make people feel like that’s forever. You might change your routines every couple of months. Ask, is this working? Do we need to talk so much anymore? The landscape will change a lot as tech gets better, so allow yourselves to change as it evolves”.

Brightside, whose mission is to help every young person to fulfil their potential, decided early on in the pandemic to close their offices and move to fully remote working. Rachel Pigott, COO said, “Thank you to all the speakers, there were some really useful take-aways. I’ve taken lots from the session for Brightside!”