The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent government mandate to institute home working wherever possible, and adopt different safe systems of working when this was not possible, resulted in immediate and large-scale changes in working practices amongst Bernicia staff.
The over-arching aim of this project was to understand the process of adaptation to these changes from the perspective of Bernicia staff and managers.
In order to achieve this aim, the research had three specific objectives:
- To understand perceptions of Bernicia’s pandemic response
- To ascertain thoughts and feelings regarding transitioning to new working practices post-pandemic
- To gather opinions on what ‘agile working’ looks like moving forward
In order to meet the objectives outlined above, the research was conducted in three strands:
- An online quantitative survey with Bernicia staff and managers
- In-depth qualitative interviews with Bernicia staff and managers
- Desk-based research on industry articles and predictions as to what the future of office working may look like in a post-pandemic world
A detailed written report was produced which summarised the findings of each strand of research before synthesising perceptions of Bernicia’s pandemic response into a clear narrative, and concluding with a summary of key findings and recommendations on how Bernica could proceed with their plans for agile working.
This project provided Bernicia with a thorough understanding of perceptions of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, how they should be communicating future changes, and what staff would like to see with regards to flexible working moving forward.
The recommendations outlined by MMC helped Bernicia understand how to effectively support their staff in the future as the company moves towards to the possibility of more flexible working practices in the long term and how managers can move towards managing and empowering a remote team.