Global construction firm Multiplex has adopted a new flexible working programme for its 825 UK staff in a bid to encourage more women into construction and into more senior roles.
‘Multiplex Flex’ is designed to “shift the cultural dial of the construction industry” by addressing structurally related issues linked to gender equity, alongside improving health and wellbeing and driving improved overall performance and productivity.
A range of flexible working options will be available for the contractors current UK workforce of 825, of which 21% are female.
Options include flexitime, early Friday finishes, weekend time off in lieu, nine-day fortnight (compressed hours), teleworking, and four-day weeks.
Remote working had already been implemented within the organisation.
The system has already been trailed on sites in London and Glasgow, with Multiplex reporting “encouraging” results.
According to the firm, results from the trials showed a significant improvement in work life balance, less stress and burnout, and better distribution of care responsibilities within employee households.
There were no apparent negative impacts on project programme, productivity, or budgets.
The initiative is part of Muliplex’s broader commitment to reduce the preponderance of men in the industry.
Callum Tuckett, managing director of Multiplex’s Europe business, said: “It is well-documented that the construction industry is behind the curve in terms of creating opportunities for women, including pay equity and career progression.
“By enabling project directors to unlock formal and informal flexible ways of working and introducing more flexible options throughout the employee life cycle of recruitment, training and promotion, we are convinced we can create a working environment at Multiplex that is not only equitable and more diverse, but happy, healthy, and productive.”
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