Flexible Working at the BBC - you can't keep a good man down
At last week's Leadership meeting Mark Thompson paid tribute to our Deputy Director General Mark Byford for running the BBC's General Election campaign from his front room. What's this all about you may ask? Has the BBC taken its property cost cutting campaign to an extreme?
As a result of an unfortunate accident Mark Byford (pictured below) found himself nursing a badly broken leg for three months and unable to make his daily commute. Not to be constrained by such an inconvenience Mark was determined, as Head of BBC Journalism, to be able to lead the overall co-ordination of the BBC's Election coverage. Armed with his broadband connected laptop, Blackberry, TV and radio, he was able to do this from his Winchester home. In effect he watched and listened to more output than anyone else and was able to lead the overall Election team effectively throughout the campaign chairing daily phone conferences and giving regular feedback.
From a flexible working point of view this is yet another example of how we need to stand back and reflect on the adage - 'work is something you do, not a place you go to.'
We want the BBC to be the most creative place to work in broadcasting - flexible and dynamic, where people can achieve their best. People often say they feel obligated to work in a BBC building even when they know they could be more creative or productive in a different environment.
To solve the problem of 'presenteeism' we need to strike a different work-life balance that, where possible, gives people the option of working part of the time away from their building base.
The case of Mark Byford proves it can be done.
Chris Kane is Head of Corporate Real Estat for the BBC