Linzi Ryan
Assistant Professor
Maynooth University

Presenter Profile: Linzi Ryan is an associate professor and director of Postgraduate Studies in the Department of Design Innovation in Maynooth University. Her research interests are in user-centred design in a broad range of areas such as culture transition, public sector reform, service innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise development, and addressing large-scale societal issues. Prior to joining Maynooth University, she was a Business Development Engineer in the Precision Engineering and Materials (PEM) Technology Gateway, facilitating collaboration between industry and academia for the commercialisation of research; and Project Manager on the INTERRG Project ‘Extending independent living for older people’, which resulted in a permanent change to the delivery of Dementia services in the North-West of Ireland. She earned her Ph.D. in the area of Product Service Systems, transitioning organisational culture from product to service-orientated.

Presentation Title: User insights for behavioural and organisational change: Development of a Public Sector Hybrid Workplace Policy

Outline: While Covid initially forced remote working for the public sector, it also revealed both our capacity to deliver services remotely and the need for a new user-centred way of working. A hybrid workplace presents potential challenges; however, it may also present the most flexible approach for organisations and staff. But what behavioural and organisational changes are needed for lasting success in this new normal? How can we develop and implement rules and policies that balance the need for regulation while providing flexibility? Taking into consideration what was, and perhaps wasn’t, working pre-Covid and reviewing the experience of working remotely, has afforded us an opportunity to redesign the future of the public sector workplace. This research presents a case study using a design thinking methodology within a national public sector organisation to develop a new hybrid workplace policy. This policy aims to balance a high-performance culture while allowing employees greater flexibility to work from wherever they are most productive, termed ‘Flexibility with Parameters’. Through a user centred approach across 24 departments and 142 members of staff, coupled with an online survey (n=332), we identify and present guiding principles and managerial implications for a hybrid workplace.

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