Staff turnover down after office overhaul

Sun Microsystems has dramatically reduced staff turnover and boosted
employee satisfaction since the introduction of flexible working practices two
years ago.

The firm’s HR team found that employee turnover was reduced from just under 10
per cent to almost zero following the change in the office environment.

Mike Dunlop, HR director for UK and Ireland for Sun Microsystems, said the
company had also achieved cost savings as a result of the initiative.

He said, "We wanted to adopt a working pattern which suited our
workforce and their clients. Our sales and technical staff at the site are
often away from the office, so flexible working suits them."

Staff can either work from home or use a smart card that allows them to log
on to the company’s computers in the building.

Sun Microsystems has introduced a reservation system on its intranet
allowing staff can book time at a desk, which means two people can share one
work station. Dunlop said, "This enabled us to consolidate lots of
different offices and free space up. There was also the benefit of a reduction
in costs."

The HR team found that employee satisfaction soared after the introduction
of flexible working, with 74 per cent of workers happy with the changes.

Dunlop said keeping the 1,400 staff informed of the project was vital.
"We had a big kick-off with managers and staff, 18 months before we
introduced flexible working. We also had departmental meetings with staff so we
could get their input on the project," he added.

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