Joanne Austin

“I care for five of my closest family members aged between 19 and 79 and who all have different disabilities/illness and needs. My caring role involves facilitating appointments, managing all of my families’ affairs, providing emotional support, dealing with education and healthcare providers and supporting with personal care.

I work a nine-day condensed fortnight which basically means I fit two weeks’ worth of hours into nine days and have a day off once a fortnight. In addition, when appointments arise I sometimes
start early in the morning, take the required break during the day and then work late. I also work from home up to three days a week which makes a considerable positive difference to my well-being.

There are two main reasons why I work from home – it enables me to juggle appointments as my travelling time is minimised by being at home and it also helps me to manage my epilepsy by ensuring I get enough sleep.

Flexible working has its benefits from a work perspective too. I sometimes work with colleagues based in other jurisdictions so I can have calls with them at what would traditionally be classed as unsociable hours. It also enables me to work at quieter times of day and get more done.

I am very grateful for the support I receive from HSBC UK. They provide me with the opportunity to pursue a career together by working flexibly to provide the care and support required by my family. My team are very supportive, there’s always someone to have a coffee and a chat with and to make me laugh, even when things are really difficult. My line manager is equally supportive helping me to manage my workload, giving me a different perspective of things and just being there when I need him. Working at HSBC UK has made a huge difference to my wellbeing and that of my family.”