Remote Work Policy & Strategy, Lessons Learned from Wales

Remote working in Wales, learning from the policy and strategy of The Welsh Government.

The Welsh Government would like to driving changes to Wales’ working culture that would give more people the choice to work in a way that helps their productivity as well as their work-life balance.

Remote Working Hub, Wales
Remote Working Hub, Wales

On September 13, 2020, The Welsh Government has stated its long-term ambition to see around 30% of Welsh workers working from home or near from home, including after the threat of Covid-19 lessens.

According to Welsh Government, remote working benefits for local economies, businesses, individuals and the environment include:

  • a reduction in travel time and expense
  • more flexibility and better work – life balance
  • increased productivity
  • less traffic, especially at peak times
  • less air and noise pollution
  • the opportunity to redesign our towns and city centres

As part of this, a network of community-based remote working hubs is also being explored which offers choices beyond a simple home/office split. These hubs, within walking and cycling distance of people’s homes, could be used by public, private and third-sector employees. They could also help encourage new partnerships to develop between Welsh Government, local government, industry, and others.

The intention is to develop a hybrid workplace model, where staff can work in the office, at home, or in a hub location. The aim is that this will enable 30% or more of workers to work remotely, helping reduce congestion and pollution and improving work-life balance for employees and employers.

On February 12, 2021, Welsh Government launched a new website with interactive maps so people across Wales can help them decide where best to locate flexible co-working hubs so they get maximum use.

To enable more people to work closer to home Welsh Government is also piloting new flexible working spaces in the Valleys Taskforce area.

Almost £500,000 is being invested by Welsh Government in six flexible working sites in the Valleys including support from its Transforming Towns fund.

This will see the redevelopment of the Llwynypia Courthouse and the creation of a co-working space at Rhondda Housing Association in Tonypandy.

There will also be opportunities for people to work close to local beauty spots and heritage sites with one new flexible working space set to be situated in the Discovery Gateway at Llyn Llech Owain in Carmarthenshire and another at Parc Bryn Bach in Blaenau Gwent.

Discovery Gateways are an important means of telling the stories of the Valleys and encouraging local people and visitors to explore and enjoy the natural and cultural heritage of often overlooked areas.

Other flexible hubs will be located in at the Winding House in New Tredegar, and the ground floor of Caerphilly Council’s main office at Ty Penallta.

Evidence collected from the interactive map and the pilot projects in the Valleys will be important in informing the future roll out of hubs. A small number of other local work pilots will be announced soon.

On March 17, 2021, The Welsh Government confirmed remote working hub locations across Wales, giving people an alternative to working from home or working in a traditional office environment.

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