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While COVID-19 lockdowns forced, to a certain degree, employers and employees to find new ways of working, many employers such as Toyota New Zealand (TNZ) treated the lessons of lockdown as an opportunity to create and formalise flexible working policies.
The Toyota Flexible Working Policy was designed to provide employees with the tools needed to manage different working arrangements. Ultimately, the policy set out a framework for enabling a win-win for employees, businesses and customers.
Importantly, the policy recognises that not all parts of the business or all roles can adapt flexibility in the same way. The policy was designed to enable people to do their work in a way that helped to balance their work and lives.
Five key principles underpin the Flexible Working Policy, which was released in November 2020:
The policy allows for both informal flexibility – for short periods working from home or one-off events such as a school activity – and formal flexibility, where an employee may permanently change start times, working hours or working-from-home days.
To date, 33 Toyota employees have applied for Workplace Flexibility. The Business Technology department has created a Remote Working Equipment Agreement to facilitate this by subsidising the purchase of selected computer/electronic hardware.