Flexible Working
Making flexible working work for you

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Over the past 12 months, we have embraced a culture of flexible working to reduce our carbon emissions and help our people work more effectively.

Employees in our Slough head office can work remotely when and where it works for them.

By working flexibly, we’ve saved an estimate of 30 tonnes of CO2 emissions per month, avoiding over 100,000 miles of commuting. That’s four times around the globe!

Flexible working has also helped our people have a better work life balance and feel more productive. 64% of O2 people now feel more productive when working this way and 85% either feel confident or very confident that they’ll continue to do so. We’ve even given back an average of one and a half hours to staff on the days they work flexibly and avoid their usual commute.

We believe our approach to flexible working differentiates us from other businesses embracing these working practices.

We took our journey to the next level by launching the country’s biggest ever flexible working pilot. It saw 2500 people working away from our Slough office for the day, proving that we could run the business without having to be in the office.

We linked the initiative into our business – from HR through to our sustainability plan.

We made flexible working exciting and accessible to our people on a huge scale, giving them an opportunity to experience and realise the benefits first hand.[/one_half_last]

Our flexible working journey has not always been easy – we’ve had some challenges such as tackling traditional attitudes and engaging the whole business.

As our working culture’s evolved, we’ve built trust with our managers & their teams, and there’s no expectation to be in the office every day. Though it is important that we monitor and continue to promote this and make sure this behaviour continues.

One of our on-going challenges is how we roll this out across the business, particularly in Retail and Sales and Service where flexible working in this sense is not always feasible.


Flexible working has been adopted by many businesses. What makes our journey stand out is the innovative way we approached it.

By working flexibly, we’ve reduced our carbon footprint and improved the productivity and work life balance of our people.

We’ve saved £3.8m a year from the reduction of permanent desks and £160,000 a year from closing our overflow car park.

We’ve even helped other businesses successfully flexi-work through our ‘Joined Up People’ proposition which has led to the sale of £260,000 worth of consultancy packages with £300,000 more in the pipeline.[/one_half_last] Speaker
Oliver Potter

Oliver Potter became the Head of Enterprise Marketing at Telefonica UK at the beginning of 2011. During 2012 he led the UK s biggest flexible working experiment, seeing 2,500 people work away from Telefonica’s offices. In 2008, he took over as head of b2b strategy driving O2 s transformation to an ICT provider. Prior to Telefonica he was a strategy consultant at L.E.K. Consulting.