marks & spencer, four day workweek, compressed workweek, flexible work arrangement, work life balance

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Part-time managers will also be able to access their own pro-rated version of the compressed ways of working on offer.

British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) is launching a new flexible working offering – 'Worklife' – specifically for its store colleagues. 

Starting January 2023, over 3,000 M&S retail managers will have the option to not only choose between full-time or part-time hours, but these managers can also choose whether to spread their hours over five days, or to work a four-day compressed week or a 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.

"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 company said in a statement. This follows a successful trial across 100 stores, where 75% of the participating retail managers agreed that compressed hours has 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, said: “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.”

The announcement also sees the launch of M&S' new Job Share Finder platform, which enables colleagues, across stores and support centres, to upload a bio and connect with potential job share matches. This approach makes flexible working easier for those colleagues able to job share. 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.

Sarah Findlater, Group HR Director at M&S, said: “Retail is a fast-paced industry but that shouldn’t mean missing out on the moments that matter."

She added: "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."

 


Image / Marks & Spencer Media Library 

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