M&S is launching a new flexible working offering – Worklife – to provide more choice and flexibility for its store colleagues. The changes are designed to help existing colleagues achieve a better work/life balance, as well as helping M&S continue to attract the best talent in the industry.
The retailer has worked closely with its National Business Involvement Group to deliver the below:
- An industry-leading offering for Retail Managers – from January 2023 over 3,000 M&S Retail Managers will have additional flexible working options available to choose from. As well as opting for either full-time or part-time hours, managers can choose whether to spread their hours over 5 days, or to work a four-day compressed week or nine day compressed fortnight. Part-time managers will also be able to access their own pro-rated version of the compressed ways of working on offer. This follows a successful trial across 100 stores, with 75% of the Retail Managers participating agreeing that compressed hours had had a positive impact on their family life and 73% on time for themselves.*
Simon Pollitt, Store Manager at M&S Stratford-on-Avon who took part in the trial, saw the benefits first-hand of greater flexibility for his family: “Working nine days over two weeks means I can get alternative Wednesdays off to look after my one year old son – giving us quality time together and also helping to save money on nursery costs. It’s fantastic and feels ground-breaking in our field.”
- Launch of Job Share Finder – a brand new approach to make flexible working easier for those colleagues able to job share. The platform enables colleagues, across stores and support centres, to upload a bio and connect with potential job share matches. The idea originated from colleagues at M&S’ International Women’s Day Ideathon in March earlier this year, inspired by those returning from maternity leave and wanting more flexibility.
Helen Snelgrove and Jo Middleton are store managers at the M&S Castlepoint store and have been job share partners for a year. Jo explains the benefits: “I’ve worked at M&S for 39 years but wasn’t ready to give up work. Job sharing allows me to spend more time with my parents, and not feel guilty when my grandchildren ask me to pick them up from school – now I get more family time while still getting to take advantage of the opportunity to be store manager.”
Sarah Findlater, Group HR Director at M&S, said: “We want M&S to be a great place to work and shop – that means having engaged colleagues with a good work-life balance. Retail is a fast-paced industry but that shouldn’t mean missing out on the moments that matter. Whether caring commitments, the chance to get involved in your local community or to prioritise your own mental and physical wellbeing.
We’ve listened to colleagues and are determined to create a cultural shift to flexible working across our stores. Those retail managers taking part in our compressed hours trial agree it’s been a gamechanger by giving them more choice and autonomy. We’re also always keen to put colleague ideas into action like our new Job Share Finder and are determined to keep exploring ideas that transform the way we work at M&S.”
*Based on internal M&S survey of 456 colleagues
Source: Marks and Spencer