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Published: 26 Mar 2020

Scottish Water – Winner 2020 – Scottish Top Employer Awards (Public Sector)

Scottish Water is a public sector organisation providing vital water and wastewater utility services across Scotland, enabled by a workforce of 4200 employees.  

Agile working is embedded throughout our business, and we think about work in terms of what you do, not where you do it. We focus on performance and output, rather than presence in the office, and employees are equipped with appropriate technology to allow them to work at a time and location that suits their needs.  

Winning insights  

  • Reduced business travel by 200k miles/year – saving time, money (approx. £350k/year) and supporting our net-zero emissions target.  
  • Absence rates are currently 2.7% (lower than the Scottish average) and in a recent employee survey93% of employees agreed that their line manager allows flexibility in working arrangements when urgent issues arise outside of work.  
  • Over 80% employees are proud to work for SW and would recommend us as an employer.  
  • We have gained external recognition:  
    • In 2019 we achieved a place on the Times Top 50 Employers for Women List  
    • Carers Positive Exemplary status  
    • Silver Award in the Defence Employers Recognition Scheme  
    • Age Inclusive Diversity Award  
  • Development of structured support for those returning from long-term planned leave (e.g. parental leave)  
  • Employee-led Belong networks (D&I groups) further enhance our culture  
  • 82% employees agreed that they feel trusted to work in an agile way  
  • Offering a range of employee networks and champions supporting parents and carers as well as other segments of the workforce  
  • A dedicated Family, Carer and Special Leave policy which outlines the opportunity for career breaks  
  • Special leave for family caring, community volunteering, reserve forces or emergency services duties  

What their people say:  

“Agile working has allowed me to better manage my health condition and reduce the impact on work. Being able to work from home allows me to be more comfortable when I am experiencing side effects and gives me the flexibility to do some of my daily pain management techniques throughout the day.  

I find agile working impacts work within the office as well which is also great for my condition as I feel empowered to be able to take a walk outside or around the office when I need to. The break-out areas across the office enhance flexibility as they mean that when I receive a phone call while walking, I can stop in there to take some notes or continue my walk and use headphones for my call. I see a lot of people taking advantage of this and feel it is much better for our health and wellbeing. The introduction of standing desks and standing meeting rooms in some of our main office locations has added a further stimulus to this message as well.”