The needs of employees in the UK have changed drastically in the last few years. With more commitments and increasing caring responsibilities than any previous generation, job flexibility has become a must. Not just for the workforce, but for any employer that wants their business to succeed in the competitive UK economy.
Timewise, a consultancy and jobs website, conducted a survey on jobs in the UK and found that there has been a trend towards job flexibility, with a 2.5% increase since last year. But with 54% of employees currently working flexibly, the majority of employers are still cutting themselves off from a proportion of the candidate market by not stating their openness to flexibility when recruiting.
Few organisations exemplify this trend as well as the Civil Service - the bureaucracy of Crown employees that supports the UK government. Civil Service recognise that there are many benefits from becoming a more inclusive workplace, including the involvement of more female talent, support for carers and the disabled, and more opportunities for people looking to retire.
BrightLemon has assisted Civil Service in developing a mobile-first community driven Drupal application, that has made getting flexible easier than doing the downwards dog.
And if you’re wondering what job sharing is all about, then let us explain. It’s an excellent opportunity for two people to share the work and pay of a single full-time job. Both workers do the same type of job and divide the working hours between them. It’s simple, yet very effective.
The Client's Needs
The Civil Service aimed to create an innovative website that acted as an online database for civil servants looking to share jobs.
They wanted to develop a user-centred design, which allowed civil servants to register to the site, create a profile, easily search for colleagues, and swap messages.
By uploading and managing information about themselves, civil servants would allow the search system to find equivalents amongst other users, based on factors such as current substantive grade, home department, region, level of expertise, etc.
“It’s the job-share equivalent of a dating website”
- John Durance, Drupal developer at BrightLemon.
BrightLemon’s dedicated team of Drupal developers worked intensively to make sure that the site was built to meet the The Digital by Default Service Standard. This is a specific set of criteria to be followed by digital teams building Government services. Drupal ticked the boxes for a number of these criteria, such as ensuring that the website was developed on an open platform and could be iterated on a frequent basis.
The team successfully followed the Government Digital Service Style Guide and built the site based on these requirements, which ensured that it was in uniform with all other Government sites and upheld the identity of the brand.
The developers at BrightLemon made sure that user-experience top of the criteria. By creating a plan for ongoing user-research and usability testing, the site can now continuously seek feedback from users. Other key user-experience principles are the incorporation of social psychology and group motivation to facilitate and encourage interaction - all for a diverse audience of age, knowledge and digital skill.
The project conformed to Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, so that it could be used by assistive technologies, such as screen readers.
The application also includes a group messaging function that can work in conjunction with networking events. It uses a personal messaging function for staff within or outside the workplace, which helps to build an agile and engaged workforce.
Since the implementation of the Civil Service Job Share Finder Site, it has won an award for Innovation at the Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards and for Impact Through Innovation at the Employer's Network for Equality and Inclusion Awards. This an excellent showcase of BrightLemon’s skills in creating a unique and game-changing experience for job sharers.
The Civil Service project has also been shortlisted for the following awards:
- Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Awards 2016 Employee Network Excellence Finalist (Product Manager as member of Civil Service Job Share and Alternative Working Network);
- Workingmums Top Employers Awards 2016 Finalist, Innovation in Flexible Working category.
Overall, the Civil Service representatives were incredibly happy with the digital services that BrightLemon were able to provide. They stated that the job share finder tool was already reaping measurable benefits within a year of operation. 80% of users said that the site was easy to utilise and the site has had more than 1,300 colleagues with AA to SCS grades signing up to the service.
Vincenzo Gambino, the lead Drupal developer at BrightLemon, said that he thoroughly enjoyed his experience in working with Civil Service and hopes to have an input from more community experts in future client cases.