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East Midlands Chamber News

Cooper Parry launches new workplace initiative

Cooper Parry has introduced a major new workplace initiative: Working From Anywhere Forever (WFAF). It is all about trust, freedom choice and empowerment.

It’s clear that the modern workplace will never be the same again. Cooper Parry have always been proud to be early adopters of workplace innovation. They have always believed in trusting their people to make the right decisions for themselves. From how to dress (the only rule is ‘wear something’) to where to work. And from when to work to how often to holiday. This has been the DNA of Cooper Parry’s culture for years. Yet in a world of pandemic lockdown, where these choices have been restricted, trust and freedoms have been well and truly tested.

April Bembridge, Cooper Parry’s Chief People Officer, adds: “Nobody knows if you’re wearing your PJs on a Microsoft Teams call. And guess what? Nobody cares anyway. You’re still awesome, you’re still smashing it. People are seeing first-hand that kids, partners and pets exist in our lives and that they matter to us. Like really matter. And we want to spend more precious time with them. The mask we sometimes wear to work has disappeared. We are free to be ourselves and no longer wrestle with the work/home split personality”.

The debate is moving fast. There is a real shift of thinking from the notion of ‘office-based workplace’ vs. ‘working from home’, to ‘working from anywhere’, and even, ‘anytime.’ Right now, many people in the professional services sector have no choice about where they work. But slowly and surely, they will. And when there is that choice, what will they all choose? This pandemic is driving reinvention. At a time of blurred lines, hybrid workplace strategies are evolving faster than ever.

Some people will yearn to return to the office environment – even if guidelines will change the way people navigate around it forever. Others are embracing the new normal and see no great desire to go back to the old one. Some fancy a mix of the two. The thing is, these are all valid choices.

Cooper Parry is absolutely certain about its direction of travel. The new agile digital ways of working are creating a new sense of purpose for the business. For example, the organisation has been delivering remote audits for a few years already. This pandemic impact has simply turbo-charged the process. Since lockdown, productivity has been sky high and the high-performance culture hasn’t skipped a beat.

As The Sunday Times’ Eighth Best Company to Work For, the sense of shared purpose has never been greater.

Ade Cheatham (pictured), Cooper Parry’s CEO said: “We won’t get self-indulgent about this. Every business should not just be thinking about all this – they should be making it happen too. Yes, we already have a winning workplace culture. Now, we need to reinvent one that works without one workplace – but with many of them. These are times like no other. This is another watershed moment for us – and many others – globally. We’ll all be judged on how we respond – rightly so. We know we won’t get everything right. But we will always be bold. We’ll always put the health of our people and clients centre stage. WFAF is based on a new freedom of choice. On trust. And empowerment. After all, this is how we roll.”