HR: From surviving to thrivingBy Kate Headford, Tatiana Ambrose and Tanya White

On Monday 8th March we hosted four expert speakers for a webinar on HR: from surviving to thriving.  We discussed some of the biggest issues facing HR and People Professionals.  

Our speakers included:

  • Janet Simpkins, HR Director, St Joseph’s Hospice
  • Louise Frayne, Director of People, Royal College of Paediatrics & Childcare
  • Anna Clark, Head of Business & People Services, British Pharmacological Society
  • Lornette Pemberton, HR Director, National Portrait Gallery

The sudden move to remote and flexible working has been a sizeable challenge for all of us, so we asked our panelists: “Is home working here to stay and if so, what does that mean for HR?” Here’s what they had to say:



  • All panelists felt that increased home working was likely to feature in their workplaces in the future.
  • The right to flexible working pre-dates the pandemic.
  • The balance of home and office-working will vary for each organisation and possibly for each individual, so there is a need to be flexible. 
  • Suggested options for addressing flexible working in the future were:
    • Consulting individually to establish the right balance for those who are able to work remotely and would like to continue to do so for some or all of the time. 
    • Implementing a blanket agile working policy to allow employees to have more agency over when and how they work without requirement for contractual changes. 
    • Implementing a new basic contract where the standard balance between home and office working is set out eg. 60% from home, 40% in the office. 
  • There is now increased trust between colleagues and especially managers and line reports. 
  • Psychological safety and danger of anxiety and burnout for employees working at home should continue to be front of mind. 
  • Opportunities for teams to meet in person or spend time bonding remotely should be prioritised. 
  • People strategy should tie in with Estates strategy. If office space is not being used in the same way, hot-desking and renting out free space should be considered.

If you would like to have a chat with the Charity People team about the content of the webinar or view a recording, please email Tatiana.