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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Leading charity tells staff to work from home permanently as it begins selling premises

 

Last year has shown home working is more productive

RNID Scotland staff won’t return to offices after pandemic restrictions end.

The hearing loss charity said its offices across the UK will be sold and staff will in future work from home commencing 1 September.

The announcement comes at the conclusion of a consultation with staff on flexible working, which began last year.

RNID - the Royal National Institute for Deaf People - had an income of nearly £43 million last year, and employs 970 staff.

Alternative arrangements will be made for staff who can’t work from home, the charity said.  

Harriet Oppenheimer, the charity’s deputy chief executive, said: “We have actually made a decision to stick with remote working, and over time we will be closing our offices. 

“We are not going to move away from face-to-face interactions with people, but we will have much more targeted, periodic, high-quality face-to-face interactions, because we have decided that working like this is a far better way to enable people within the charity to be connected and work productively.” 

A spokesperson from the charity added that they had learned a lot about remote working over the last 12 months, and it had shown what is possible, that most work can be done effectively and safely from home, that people are more productive, and ultimately have a better work-life balance.

“Remote working also brings huge benefits as it allows for us to recruit from across the UK for roles, work together in integrated teams irrespective of where people live, and the money usually spent on property can now be invested in our people and delivering our purpose," said the spokesperson.  

“Here at RNID, we want to be one of the best charities to work for. 

“We consulted our staff and the majority of them told us they wanted us to have a flexible working environment. 

“We know remote working is not appropriate for everything and that face-to-face interaction is still important so we are thinking about how we can support collaboration, creativity, shared learning and relationship building with away days, and flexible collaboration space. 

“This has helped us with our planning for a digital future and we are not looking back to pre-Covid times but rather adapting and changing for this new world in the best possible way.  

“We are also committed to providing appropriate arrangements for those staff for whom working from home is not possible. “It is an exciting time for RNID as we are now proposing that remote working is the same for the rest of the organisation across the UK which will mean the charity will be fully remote working from 1 September.”

The charity, which had been known as Action on Hearing Loss since 2011, rebranded back to its original mission and reverted back to RNID last year.

 

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