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Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 1 billion people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 125 000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world.

The WestWorks Building, 195 Wood Lane, London, W12 7FQ
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Company size:   10,001+ employees
Industry:   Pharmaceuticals
Company Details
The WestWorks Building
195 Wood Lane
W12 7FQ

Novartis's started its flexible working journey in 2018, but has since been accelerated due the global pandemic. The organisation recently surveyed staff, which showed the majority of staff preferred a hybrid model with freedom to work remotely, but also space to connect and collaborate with colleagues. After their survey, Novartis implemented their 'Choice with Responsibility', which allows employees to decide how, when and where they work to be the most impactful in their role. 

What we love about Novartis:

💡 Novartis's CEO, Vasant Narasimhan, understands the importance of hybrid and remote working in order to access new pools of talent that were inaccessible pre-COVID pandemic.

💡Novartis's have shifted responsibility for flexible working requests from manager-approved to manager-informed, empowering associates to choose how, where and when they work within their country of employment

💡As a data science-led company, Novartis apply the same curiosity and scientific rigour to the design of our future workplace. As well as conducting regular pulse-check surveys to gather direct feedback from our associates, they also collect aggregated and anonymised data to identify, study and understand patterns in how their associates are working.

💡 Novartis plan to restructure its office space to be more suitable for a hybrid work environment. 

What is worth checking with Novartis:

💡 Not all roles will allow for the same degree of flexibility.

Articles about Novartis:

💡 Novartis CEO is Expecting to Continue with Remote Work 

💡 Novartis CEO Says Remote Work Hybrid Should Mean Access to New Talent Pools  

💡 Reimagining how we work at Novartis 

💡 Novartis Chief Sees Remote-Work Hybrid Persisting After Pandemic

Flexible Working Approach

At Novartis, our people are our most valuable resource. We want everyone to feel able to be their best selves at work and at home, and we are committed to supporting and enabling them to be inspired, curious and unbossed. The global pandemic has accelerated our organizational need to explore new working models and our associates have expressed a strong desire for more flexibility in how, where and when they work. We believe we can create a future working model that optimizes both personal and business performance. Our journey toward that model is what we call Choice with Responsibility.

We have a great diversity of roles across our organization, and they won’t all allow for the same degree of flexibility, but we want to explore how we can offer maximum choice for everyone. This will be a multi-year journey and we have a lot to learn and experiment with but we will be starting our journey with the following steps:

1) We have introduced an updated flexibility policy that applies to all office-based associates, effective July 15, 2020. The policy shifts responsibility from manager-approved to manager-informed, empowering associates to choose how, where and when they work within their country of employment*.

2) We will be offering in-country specific support to help all associates working remotely and do so in a healthy and comfortable environment.

3) We will continue to listen and learn from our people and run a global pulse check-in to understand how our new approach is working and what matters most to our associates, now and in the future.

4) We will also be expanding our mental health resources, with the aim of raising awareness, creating understanding and supporting associates and encouraging good mental health practices.

This is just the start and we intend to create sustainable solutions to support and empower associates now and into the future. We will run experiments to ensure that our long-term proposals are practical, impactful and applicable to the widest possible spectrum of associates. The insights we take from these experiments and the proposals they shape will be the foundation on which our future working model is built.

We believe that Choice with Responsibility will help many of our associates strengthen their work life integration, while supporting and furthering our culture journey and our business. We are proud to take the next step in pioneering the workplace of the future, and in creating an environment that works for us all.


Part-time: An employee who works fewer hours than a full-time worker. There is no specific number of hours that makes someone part-time, but a full-time worker will usually work 35-40 hours a week.
Flexi-Time: This is a working schedule that allows employees to choose when they start and end their workday, usually to accomodate an individuals needs and other commitments outside of work.
Compressed Hours: This is where an employee increases the volume of hours worked each day in order to reduce the number of days worked.
Agile Working: This method of work gives employees the option to work where, when and how they choose – with maximum flexibility and minimum constraints.
Full-time: A full-time employee works between 35 and 40 hours per week, usually on a permanent contract.
Job Share: An arrangement where two people, or sometimes more, are retained on a part-time or reduced-time basis to perform a job normally fulfilled by one person working full-time.
Phased Retirement: This refers to an approach that gives employees the ability to manage the transition from full-time employment to retirement.
Hybrid Working (Office / Home): This means an employee splits their time between the workplace (usually office based) and remote working (usually at home).
Remote or Mobile Working: This is a type of working arrangement that allows an employee to work from a remote location outside of corporate offices.
Work From Home (WFH): This is where an employee has the ability to set up their workspace at home, and manage their work without the need to go to the office.
Office Working: This refers to an employee being physically present in the workplace to fulfil their contractual responsibilities.
Career Breaks / Sabbatical: These are an extended periods of agreed absence from work. The term is often used interchangeably with "sabbatical", which is generally taken to mean a shorter period of leave of several weeks or months.
Shared Parental Leave: This allows parents to share a portion of leave and pay with their partners to care for children from birth, usually until their first birthday.

*Please note that not all flexible working options may not be available for every role.

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