Arup unveils hybrid model to offer employees work flexibility

Engineering and design company Arup has announced a new hybrid model, known as Work Unbound, that will offer its staff more flexibility in how and where they work.

The model will allow the firm’s 6,000 UK employees to work flexible hours over the course of Monday to Sunday, with the option to carry out some of their contracted hours over the weekend. Employees can also choose where they want to work for up to three days a week, with two days spent in an Arup office.

According to the organisation, the hybrid approach is designed to create a working environment that accommodates different needs, and allows staff to integrate their work and personal lives alongside the company’s business, clients and communities.

The Work Unbound model was trialed over a three-month period between April and July 2019 in Arup’s Queensland, Australia and Liverpool offices. It found that 82% varied the number of hours they worked each day at some point during the pilot and 35% chose to work at the weekend.

Jerome Frost, chair of Arup’s UK, India, Middle East and Africa region, explained that building flexibility into Arup’s colleagues’ lives is something it has been experimenting with since before the pandemic.

He said: “With the opportunity to flex working hours over the course of a seven day week, we‘re empowering our members to find a working pattern that allows them to be at their personal best while delivering high quality work for clients.”

As an independent company held in trust for its members, Frost explained that Work Unbound allowed staff to make their own choices about how they can do their best work.

He concluded: “They can adopt a working pattern that suits their lifestyles. Importantly, it also means they can adapt to suit their clients preferred ways of working, whether that be in their offices, in Arup’s collaborative city centre offices, on-site or at home.”