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COEL and Talent Glue Business Psychology team up to research the way we work

Two Cambridge businesses have teamed up to research the changes we have all experienced in our working patterns during the pandemic and how we will work over the coming six months.

Talent Glue’s Kelly Drewery, front left, and Coel’s Lizzie Duckworth, front right with some of the users of agile workingPicture: Keith Heppell
Talent Glue’s Kelly Drewery, front left, and Coel’s Lizzie Duckworth, front right with some of the users of agile workingPicture: Keith Heppell

COEL, the fit out and design specialist, and Talent Glue Business Psychology, the Ross Street-based consultancy that helps companies become better employers, are encouraging people to complete a simple online survey at surveys.talentglue.co.uk/s3/waywework.

The research will help us understand how employees have been impacted by the pandemic, the effects on their work and their hopes as lockdown restrictions ease.

Lizzie Duckworth, from COEL, and Kelly Drewery, from Talent Glue, are driving the research, which will also include gathering stories from employers around the different approaches they are taking.

“COEL is very excited about launching this research,” said Lizzie. “Creating spaces that improve productivity and promote healthier and happier lifestyles is our priority. We want this research to reveal what people hope to see when they go to their workplaces moving forward and how organisations are planning to accommodate their employees' requirements."

Working from home has given many more autonomy and much-needed flexibility - and it has prompted some employers to rethink the physical space that they require, or the way they expect employees to work.

But many will have missed face-to-face interaction during the pandemic, and the emotional and social benefit of a workplace, and may have faced practical challenges.

And, of course, many will have found the blurring of the lines between home life and working life difficult to navigate at times.

Do some even miss the daily commute, which for many acted as an enforced punctuation between the two?

A number of businesses have already signed up to share their insights.

Property consultants Bidwells took a modern approach to its workspace by adopting agile working in 2018, with the support of COEL.

The internal design changes and refurbishment has helped the business to adapt to today’s needs.

Meanwhile, First Intuition, an accountancy training company, has already seen a change in outlook of its current trainees with their local employers.

The company is hoping the research will help inform the approach taken by the varied professional and industrial sectors its trainees will enter. First Intuition expects that trainees will decide where they best fit based on companies’ various approaches to a post-pandemic work environment.

St Ives-based The Good Plant Company, which sources, supplies and maintains plant displays for companies throughout the Cambridge region, is also witnessing much change.

Founder Ruscha Fields said: "Enhancing wellbeing and improving workplace aesthetics is at the heart of what The Good Plant Company does. As a firm believer in helping workplaces enrich their staff’s professional daily lives, I look forward to collaborating with COEL and Talent Glue in inviting organisations and individuals to tell us more about what they feel would benefit their working environments."

Meanwhile, the research will explore how the Bradfield Centre, the deep tech space on Cambridge Science Park, has helped its tenants to continue operating safely and how it will continue to connect people, like all of Mantle’s business centres.

Also keen to be involved in the research is membership organisation Cambridge Network, which helps businesses share updates, knowledge and jobs, while facilitating introductions, training and recruitment services.

The survey can be completed anonymously or you can leave details to help inform the findings further. The Cambridge Independent will report on the findings when they are released in the autumn.

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