Thursday, 8 October 2015

Lib Dem jobs - opening them out to the regions

Following my post yesterday, I was in the pub with some Lib Dems talking about Lib Dem jobs (and specifically Mark Pack's post on the HQ restructure).

One of the points we all agreed on (unsurprisingly for a group of Yorkshire Lib Dems) is that it's all too London-centric. Having part time jobs (which would be accessible with longer commutes) could be part of the answer - but the other is, why can't we do more work remotely, or based in other offices around the country.

For example, why can't a Head of Digital Engagement (for example) be based in the Scottish or Welsh Lib Dems HQ, or in the ALDC HQ in Manchester, and travel to London once a week. Office costs could be slightly cheaper, we could probably pay them slightly less, and the difference would probably more-or-less cover their travel costs. And by advertising the jobs with flexible location, we'd open them out to the widest possible range of people - which means the best possible hires.

Being really radical, people could even work remotely and then travel to London 1-2 days a week, or we could come to agreement with one of the bigger local parties to allow them to use their space.

If we wanted them to be in London two days a week - there are thousands of Lib Dem members in London, and I'm betting that at least one of them could be persuaded to offer up their spare room one night a week to a visiting employee (incidentally I've often wondered if we could also do this for interns, but that's another story), saving the cost of hotels (and we count as an in-kind gift to the party and treat them as a valued donor accordingly).

Flexible working opens up jobs to a wider range of people, it cuts the costs of commuting (both financial and environmental), it can help people with young children remain in the workforce, and it can help rebalance jobs to the regions. All of these are things the Lib Dems talk about - time to start walking the walk.


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