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Remote Working For All

James Hewett

Senior Engineering Manager at Monzo Bank

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Problem

"I hired two contract engineers to help deliver a strategically significant project. During the interview they requested to work remotely for at least 2 days per week and due to a lengthy commute and child-care commitments, would only be on-site between 10am and 4.30pm, making up hours as required at home. With this formal agreement in place, the engineers joined the team and quickly became very productive. As the project progressed, permanent on-site engineers started to complain that the contract engineers were receiving preferential treatment."

Actions taken

"I realised after talking to the team that they weren't aware that the contract team members were working to an agreed schedule, poor communication on my part. The team also felt that they didn't have the same flexibility available to them, which they viewed as a huge benefit. Although our company doesn't have an official remote-working policy, there is a general understanding that some departments are more conducive to remote working than others, including Engineering. With this in mind, I created a remote-working policy to ensure all team members were aware of the remote working options available to them and what was expected of them if they chose to work remotely. I presented this to the CTO and Head of HR, it was approved and communicated to the engineers and raised to the Executive board for approval across other departments."

Lessons learned

"When I hired the contract engineers, I should have communicated their agreed working schedule clearly to the team before they started. By doing this I would have been able to address their concerns earlier and possibly have introduced the remote working policy earlier, which the team felt was a big benefit and boosted morale. Transparent, pro-active communication is crucial in a hybrid (on-site and remote members) delivery team."


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James Hewett

Senior Engineering Manager at Monzo Bank


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