Creating a new Work-World?…

1st July 2021 3:30pm – 5:50pm

Homeworking offers flexibility and work-life balance, but the evidence shows that most successful products and services result from creative collaboration and discussion.

Businesses are now planning the post-Covid return to the office and are adapting their space and practices to harness the benefits of remote working while re-introducing the human-social context so necessary for success.

This multidisciplinary project supports economic recovery by identifying effective office design and adaptation of work practices to maximise gains and minimise downsides from remote and hybrid working….

…So how can business leaders create a new work-world that will keep teams both happy and productive post-Covid?

Dr Matthew Davis, Dr Helen Hughes & Afshan Iqbal from Leeds University Business School will kick off the session by sharing an overview of the learnings from existing academic research and looking at emerging trends they are seeing in their ongoing research.
They will look at how employees have coped with a sudden change in their working patterns since the onset of the pandemic and how remote onboarding into organizations has worked.

Finally, they will forecast what this means for the future of the office and consider early findings from a new research project examining evidence from offices adapted for hybrid working.

Hannah Nardini, who is one of the UK’s leading workplace strategists will then explore the data trends on remote working from the perspective of Employees, Managers, New starters & Leadership Teams, drawing out their workplace expectations and discussing the predictors for future ways of working.

Mark Bland from Premier Farnell will then talk about how Covid-19 has levelled the playing field for remote workforces and how he plans on avoiding slipping back into bad habits when his team return to office.

Ali Jurowski & Jamie Toyne from DWP Digital will close the session by sharing how their community has evolved since Covid forced everyone to work from home and how they plan to retain the improved engagement and strengthened community spirit in the longer-term at DWP Digital.


3:30Afshan Iqbal, Dr Matthew Davis & Dr Helen Hughes – “Remind me; where do I work?” …Navigating the workplace during times of change
4:00Hannah Nardini – Future ways of working or something along those lines so by all means be creative!
4:20Mark Bland – Covid-19 Disruptor or Eye Opener?
4:40Ali Jurowski & Jamie Toyne – How Covid impacted our Community of Practice for the better


Dr Matthew Davis

Dr Matthew Davis is an Associate Professor at Leeds University Business School, a Chartered Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. His research centres on how people interact with their work environments, the design of socio-technical systems and how businesses engage in CSR. Matthew has worked on a range of applied research projects with corporate partners including Rolls-Royce, Marks and Spencer, Next, Atkins, Arup and British Gas. Matthew is currently leading a ESRC funded multi-disciplinary project examining office adaptations in response to COVID-19 and how office design and ways of working (e.g., hybrid) impact employee social networks, workflow and performance.

Dr Helen Hughes

Dr Helen Hughes is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, and Associate Professor in Organizational Psychology at the University of Leeds. Helen is expert in the design of socio-technical systems and has led projects examining the ways that employees socially interact with clients and each other, through technologies and the physical environment. She is particularly interested in how these social interactions affect people’s experiences of work. She has led applied research projects (£1.4m) working with a range of industrial partners. She leads the internship year at Leeds University Business School, which each year places over 200 undergraduate students into paid, year-long industrial internships.

Afshan Iqbal

Afshan Iqbal is a Doctoral Researcher at Leeds University Business School. Prior to this, Afshan had built a career in Financial Services, working as a Business Development Manager. Drawing upon the skills developed during her time working in industry, Afshan was inspired to pursue an academic career. Afshan’s first-hand experiences in the workplace, particularly around remote & flexible working have helped shape her research ideas. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the need for better understanding the phenomena of virtual working, making Afshan’s research particularly relevant as we navigate our way through and adapt to a new way of working.

Hannah Nardini

Hannah Nardini is one of the UK’s leading workplace strategists applying her 26 years of experience in the design of office interiors and the workplace. Starting her career in Interior Design she went on to study Psychology paying focus to how people interact with each other and the environment they are within and understanding how this affects outcomes. Hannah has a unique and holistic approach to workplace solutions. Her focus is creating a great and practical work environment that inspires occupants to perform at their best. Along the way she will help customers to increase productivity and happiness levels, reduce real estate portfolios, build a positive workplace culture, reduce attrition rates and attract the new, yet elusive generation of workers.

Mark Bland

Mark Bland is a Senior Test Manager/Head of Test in his current role at Premier Farnell, with 15 years of experience in the industry. During that time Mark has worked on everything from large scale platform replacements to small feature delivery on websites and mobile apps. Mark has been a people manager for 10 of those 15 years and has managed technical and non-technical teams, both locally and co located in various locations around the world. Mark has built teams from scratch in Functional, Automation and Non-Functional disciplines, managed the strategy and implementation of several automation and non-functional testing frameworks.

Jamie Toyne

Jamie Toyne is an experienced Business Analysis Leader and community of practice builder, with over 14 years’ experience in transformational change in numerous sectors covering automotive, telco, financial services and more recently public sector. Currently Head of Business Analysis at DWP Digital, where he leads one of the largest communities of practice made up of 250+ BA’s across the country. An advocate for developing others, he and his team have recently launched the BA apprenticeship in Digital, designed and launched an in-house Senior BA Development Programme and have successfully moved to a fully virtual community during the pandemic. Jamie is an active and influential member within the Cross-Government BA Leaders community, sits on the IS BA Level 4 Apprenticeship Standard review group as well as occasionally reviews new BCS publications.

Ali Jurowski

Ali Jurowski is an experienced Business Analyst with 18 years’ experience working across a number of sectors including manufacturing, automotive, banking and public sector. Currently working in a Practice Lead role within Business Analysis at DWP Digital, she works directly with the Head of Role in leading the BA community of practice. Her main focus is currently on developing and running the Practice led Senior BA Development Programme aimed at developing future BA leaders as well as leading on recruitment strategy and planning.

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