Flexitime

Choosing when to start and end work (within agreed limits) but with certain ‘core hours’, for example, 10am to 4pm every day.

Julie Sands

Julie Sands

Credit Control Manager

Employer: Aqualisa Products Ltd
Sector: Manufacturing

Flexitime Part time

“On becoming pregnant with my first of two children it was clear to me that I wanted to continue working but keep a healthy work life balance.  My employer was very accommodating, I was able to customise my hours from the children starting nursery then primary and through to secondary education.  Working 4 shorter days allowed for morning drop offs, leaving Friday for family time. 

Over the years I have altered my hours to suit school. I now work 5 days a week with three of those as shorter days. I learned very early on that planning and organisation were key to the success of working these shorter hours. The flexibility afforded to me by my employer has meant I have been able to be around for my children which has also given peace of mind to my husband who works away from home time to time.

Tim Hughes

Tim Hughes

CEO

Employer: Tigerwit
Sector: Financial Services

Flexitime

“I work fulltime hours on a flexi-time, flexi-location basis to enable me to volunteer on the RNLI Chiswick lifeboat, retain additional advisory and non-executive roles, and be involved with mid-week family life. This means I typically spend two days per week working from home and do between two and four 12-hour shifts (including some nights) per month on the lifeboat.

When in the office, I focus on face-to-face meetings, collaboration and supporting my team and can do my desk-work pretty much anywhere: mostly at home but also at the lifeboat station between exercises and shouts. At TigerWit, we are creating a culture around flexibility, celebrating achievement and accommodating numerous working styles so that our employees can enjoy flexibility too and are more motivated and loyal as a result.

I have built advisory and non-executive work in to my professional life as I value a portfolio of interests and each role I have benefits, in some way, the others.

I have a young family and it is important to me to be involved in their lives. Whilst our schedule is full on, I believe my wife (who also works flexibly), my children and myself have richer lives as a result of this work-life balance.”

Tim Morrell

Tim Morrell

Lead Inventor

Employer: ?What If! Innovation
Sector: Professional services

Flexitime Part time

“My wife and I both work a four-day week; I take every Friday off to look after my 2 young sons.

Having kids feels like a pretty wonderful thing and I’m aware how quickly they will grow up. It seems totally logical to try and be around for them as much as I can and my employer has been super flexible.

Once they’re both in school I think we’ll try and shift to a more Scandi model of shorter days (maybe 4 days over 5) so we can spend time together as a family most days though that may be a challenge to fit around clients working on a more traditional 9-6 schedule.”

Nicola Balfour

Nicola Balfour

People Manager

Employer: Greggs
Sector: Retail

Flexitime

“My son recently started school and it came at a time when my partner was working away. It was very important for me to be able to do both drop off and pick up whilst he settled into a new routine.

For a 2-3 week period I flexed my working hours to be able to do this, I was in the office during school hours, I was able to spend some time with my son after school and then after he went to bed I was able to get on with work. Knowing I had the flexibility to do this at such an important point in his life was fantastic and I’m hugely appreciative of the support I got to do this.”

Paul Trenell

Paul Trenell

Head of Analytical Services

Employer: Civil Service, GEO
Sector: Public Sector

Flexitime Compressed hours

“When our son Joseph was born I moved onto a compressed hours working pattern after my wife Cathy went back to work. Working 10 days in 9 with every other Friday off to look after Joseph allowed us to limit the number of days that he initially went to nursery, helping to get him ready for school gradually, and saving a bit of money on childcare bills!. There were some challenges, and Thursdays were often busy, but that chance to spend some regular father-son time with Joseph was priceless. I taught him to ride his bike and took him on his first camping trip on these days, which are memories I will never forget.

When he started school earlier this year I reverted to full-time, but now use flexi-time to drop him off each morning and pick him up from school early every other Friday, which is a treat. I’ve been very grateful to be able to balance my work and home life like this, and pleased by how supportive bosses and colleagues have been.”

Steve Beswick

Steve Beswick

Business Development Director for Surface in Education (EMEA)

Employer: Microsoft
Sector: IT/Tech

Flexitime

“Sabbatical: In 2009 after 15 Years at Microsoft I was offered a sabbatical from work for 3 months. This was a reward for tenure at Microsoft, plus also performance levels being high. Microsoft offered this with full pay and rewards. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have this much time off work so I planned a trip around the world with my 18 year old daughter. Ten years on we still talk about the adventure we had and places we visited. Not many Dads could do this with their children and I am eternally grateful to Microsoft for giving me this opportunity. It was a great way of saying thank you for the work I have done.

Flexi hours: Today, I have just been appointed to a senior volunteering role which will require 15 days of my time a year. Working closely with my manager and HR I have agreed a flexible work pattern to accommodate these days. With technology now work can happen anywhere and at any time. Technology along with flexible rules from my employer on work patterns allows me to use my skills in a very different way for a very good cause.”

Nicholas David

Nicholas David

IT Team

Employer: Willmott Dixon
Sector: Construction

Flexitime

“I feel that it’s great that agile working is now available to people in IT and that, for me, I like the fact that we are trusted to use the flexible approach and to use it as and when necessary as long as the business is not adversely affected by it.”

Mitch (Michele Oliver)

Mitch (Michele Oliver)

Global Marketing & Purpose VP

Employer: Mars Incorporated
Sector: Food and Beverages

Flexitime Working from home and remote working Part time

“The flexibility of working from home during the hours that work for me makes an enormous difference to my life and my family. Prior to this role I worked 3 days a week for 7 years after my son Albie was born, in roles spanning global marketing and UK Strategy – delivering value to Mars and enabling me to be the parent and partner that I wanted to be. I was promoted in that time which is a true testament to Mars’ support for talent and not work patterns!

Immediately before this role I was Marketing VP for the UK with a team of 70 and on the UK Board – I worked 4 days a week as the business focuses on quality of output not hours of input. To this day I maintain that my one day off made me significantly better equipped to deliver my role – giving me space and perspective to rise above the busy-ness that comes with these roles and focus on what really matters. I am a passionate advocate of flexible working and valuing the work delivered rather than the hours worked.”

Mike Rankine

Mike Rankine

Business Manager to Head of Transaction Banking

Employer: Royal Bank Scotland
Sector: Finance

Flexitime Working from home and remote working

“I work standard office hours throughout the week, in London Monday to Wednesday and from home Thursday & Friday. I have a daughter from a previous relationship and look after her 50% of the time; working from home two days a week allows me to take her to and from school on those days.

Quite simply, this working pattern allows me to support a 50% shared custody of my daughter. If I couldn’t have worked flexibly this wouldn’t be possible and I would see her far less. I also now have a 1-year old son and flexible working has allowed me to spend more time with him as I am home much earlier without a 90-minute commute
It can be challenging when face-to-face meetings are organised on my home working days, but I can usually move things around with enough notice. Having fixed days from home at the end of the week does also often mean missing out on office social occasions!

My employer and various line managers have been very supportive. From an employer point of view, we increasingly have new technologies to support home working, such as Zoom video conferencing that allows people to join meetings F2F from wherever they are. My line managers have always been very understanding and have helped me to manage time effectively so that not being in the office is not a disadvantage in any way.

I previously worked a different pattern that varied week-to-week whereby I would work longer hours in the office in London and then school hours from home. Sometimes it was 3 in London, 2 from home, others it was 4 in London with 1 from home and also 2 in London, 3 from home. Because this varied it was difficult to ever explain to anyone what my working pattern was, but I always ensured my work diary reflected where I would be and when I was available. With effective and efficient time management, you can make just about any pattern work.”

Marshall Clements

Marshall Clements

Production Management Trainee

Employer: Willmott Dixon
Sector: Construction

Flexitime

“Basically my wife works three long days a week. My son, Elliott, does two days at nursery (Monday and Friday) and one with his grandparents (Thursday). On Monday and Friday my wife drops my son to nursery, and I pick him up at 4pm – the time I leave site depends on the site location. On these days I cook the family dinner and bath Elliot. On Thursdays I drop off my son at his grandparent’s house for 8am and then head to site.

The site teams I work with are all aware of my flexible working arrangements and we have early morning and late working rotas in place, as well as site induction rotas. On my first site placement, all three Building Managers used flexible working to help support them with childcare arrangements.

My working pattern, means I have to be organised with the scheduling of meetings, and I make sure I have completed everything I need to before the end of the day. I find I am more focused during the day, regarding daily duties on site etc.

If I couldn’t be flexible with my working hours my son would spend nearly eleven hours in nursery. Being able to work in the way I do, has enabled me to spend more time with my son and has improved our bond no end. It has also enabled us to have dinner as a family and spend some great quality time together.”

Maddi Riddell

Maddi Riddell

Associate Lead

Employer: ?What If! Innovation
Sector: Professional Services

Flexitime Annualised hours Part time

“I have had various flexible working deals with ?What If! ranging from freelancer, 3 days a week, 3 days a week with school holidays off, full time and now as an Associate.

My Associate Deal is a commitment (on both sides) to 80 days per year. Phasing the days is agreed mutually, but usually involves working pretty much full time on a project for 6-8 weeks and then having intervals of down time.

It suits me because it means I can have a better work:life balance. I had got to the stage where I was finding full time work quite draining on my energy and forcing all the other things I am curious about and interested in to the periphery.

So far, it is working really well. I love doing my ?What If! work – the challenges, working with a team of smart, curious young people and I love that I can invest time in friends, family, culture, travel, passion projects in a way which keeps me fresh and energised. And because I know ?What If! well, I can contribute to on-the-project coaching, handing on my experience of previous projects but also I have time to invest in new ways of doing things, evolution of tools, techniques, approaches etc.”

Lukas Glynn

Lukas Glynn

PMO Analyst

Employer: Royal Bank Scotland
Sector: Finance

Flexitime Working from home and remote working

“I’ve been flexi-working at RBS since 2018. I normally work from home 2 days a week and spend the other three in the office. I take our 6-year old boy to school in the mornings – it feels good to be involved. My wife works compressed hours 4 days a week, so she takes Friday off to be with our son. When work demands it, there are times when you need to help each other out, but generally this works well for us.

Working from home is a big help in sharing the burden of childcare, especially when you can’t rely on a wider support network. Flexi-working is inclusive as everyone has different circumstances – it’s not a one-size-fits-all thing but is there when you need it. And it also saves money on travel, avoids stressful commutes, and improves my general wellbeing and productivity, which is great!.

RBS’ technology, as well as understanding line management, helps you feel connected with the wider team.”

Laura Weston

Laura Weston

Group Executive Director

Employer: Golin and Virgo Health
Sector: Communications

Flexitime Part time

“I returned to work three years ago after a career break to care for my children. I now work flexibly on a four-day week with ad hoc work from home days.

Myself and my husband both manage our hours flexibly, we alternate going into work early and leaving early to collect the children. It’s a juggle, but sharing the care works for our family. The flexibility also works for our careers, as week-by-week we can adjust our hours to fit around both our work commitments and being there for our children.”

Kyra Folkes

Kyra Folkes

Women in Leadership Communication Executive

Employer: Sky
Sector: Media & Entertainment

Flexitime

“When starting in a company, especially being young, it’s often assumed you need to ‘earn’ the right to work flexibly, as if it’s a privilege. This has certainly not been my experience at Sky. Job descriptions read ‘happy to talk flexible working’; the importance of a work/life balance is emphasised; and I am working with my manager to prioritise and minimise self-induced pressure.

‘Flexible working’ doesn’t always mean working part-time. I consider myself to work flexibly, choosing to work full time. It’s about a culture and a mind-set of an organisation rather than a one-fits-all policy.”

Joanne Austin

Joanne Austin

Financial Crime Risk Assurance Manager

Employer: HSBC UK
Sector: Finance

Flexitime Working from home and remote working Compressed hours

“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.”

Helen Chadwick

Helen Chadwick

Business Partner

Employer: Kantar
Sector: Professional Services

Flexitime Working from home and remote working

“A year ago my manager presented me with an opportunity to take on a promotion, the role of Business Partner, primarily based in our London head office some distance from my home in the North West.

A key consideration for me at the time was how to keep a balance between home and work life, but also ensure that I could give everything to the role, with the additional travel commitments.

I have been working in this role for 8 months now and absolutely find that I can balance work and home life quite comfortably. The use of Skype video for business on my home-working days, ensures that I can be ‘present’ in every meeting, and continue to build strong relationships from a distance.

Without the opportunity to work flexibly, I wouldn’t have been able to progress within the company without considering a relocation.”

Georgie Faulkner

Georgie Faulkner

Head of Multi Sports

Employer: Sky plc
Sector: Media & Entertainment

Flexitime Part time

“Aged 30, I fell pregnant with my first child and started to wonder how I’d manage with a baby and a full-on job as a Sky Sports producer. I knew I didn’t want to give up my job, but equally I wanted to take my son to nursery. I needed flexibility.

So what did I do? I spoke to my manager and put together a request for a three-day week. So that I could continue producing my own shows, I agreed that my three days would vary – sometimes I’d do a 9am-5pm day in the office planning an event, other days I might work 2pm-10pm to produce a show.

Although my children are now eleven and nine, I still relish flexibility. When my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago, the ability to have extra quality time with him was great, whilst still fulfilling my work and mum roles.

In 2016 I took on a more senior role, and now work a four-day week. I have found that connecting with people across the business at Women@Sky events has been really inspirational. Talking to people about what works for them can really help- so I would definitely encourage you to make use of the events.”

Florence Davies

Florence Davies

Head of the Director General's Office

Employer: The Department for Education
Sector: Public Sector

Flexitime Part time

“I’ve had all three of my children while working in the Civil Service; my first in 1995, second in 1999 and third in 2001. Even back then it was possible to work flexibly. Though not as flexible as today where our IT kit supports a myriad of work patterns and where very much anyone can work flexibly, not just those with children. I don’t think I’d have been able to juggle childcare and work without the flexibility the Civil Service offered me.

I’ve worked in many different departments from Jobcentres (as they were called), the Government Equalities Office, the Home Office and the Department for Education. I was able to work flexibly wherever I moved to. While my trajectory up the ranks may have been slower because of working part time hours and taking maternity leave, my progress was not permanently stalled. It’s true to say that back then, where it was fairly easy to get agreement to work a 3 day week, for example, it was not so easy (depending on your line manager) to get permission to work flexibly within those 3 days so you could drop your child off at nursery and pick up at the end of the day. I remember being repeatedly marked late in one role for arriving at work a little after 9 am. Over time, the culture of the organisation has improved significantly and line managers are more understanding and supportive.

I believe the Civil Service is able to retain many able and committed individuals because of the way it has allowed them to juggle caring responsibilities and a career. Now my kids are grown up I can look back with a smile at how it all worked out in the endÄ hard as it was juggling both!”

Christine Smith

Christine Smith

Finance Business Partner

Employer: Greggs
Sector: Retail

Flexitime

“We recently bought a new build house which should have been ready for the start of the new school year when my son moved to senior school. The house was delayed which meant we were living 20 miles away from my son’s new school. I was able to work flexibly to pick him up after school and then I worked my hours later in the day from home.

As a parent this was so important and as an employee of Greggs I cannot emphasise enough how this kind of flexibility and support is welcomed and appreciated.”

Chiazo Okey-Nzewuihe

Chiazo Okey-Nzewuihe

Surveyor

Employer: Willmott Dixon
Sector: Construction

Flexitime

“I start and finish early, working from 8.30am to 4pm as I have a long commute to the construction site in Twickenham where I am currently based. I can then log in from home later in the evening, depending on my workload.

What sets Willmott Dixon apart from other construction firms, is its openness about different ways of working, as long as managers know what is going on they can try to deal with situations in everyone’s interests. It is very motivating and makes for a happy workforce.

Although I am aware that my work location will be subject to change – I have been based in Twickenham for just under a year – I know that Willmott Dixon will take employees’ personal circumstances into account as much as possible when they move them around.”

Catherine Chapman

Catherine Chapman

Legal Assessor & Trainer

Employer: CILEx Law School
Sector: Education (Legal)

Flexitime Working from home and remote working Part time

“I requested a four day working pattern – Monday to Thursday – which my employer agreed to, in line with their flexible working policy. I’m also home-based, as are most of my team colleagues, because we are located all over England. The nature of our work means that we can do our jobs effectively with just a laptop and phone. We have monthly team Skype calls and quarterly meetings at our head office or regional locations, which is a good opportunity to catch up.

Although my job entails frequent visits to clients, I manage my own diary, so I can schedule visits to avoid rush hour. This makes for less stressful travelling, cheaper off-peak fares (a saving for my employer!) and just as important – I can often be back home in time for when my youngest son returns from school. I also value the fact that when I am at home, I can fit in some domestic chores, and am much more efficient in getting things done, as there are fewer distractions, i.e. no one to chat to in the office!

I probably wouldn’t have chosen to work from home if I was younger and at the start of my career, because of the lack of social interaction, but now that my children are teenagers, this pattern suits me and our family life very well.”

Caroline Wood

Caroline Wood

Head of Media

Employer: Royal Mencap Society
Sector: Voluntary

Flexitime

“I returned to work after a two year break to focus on my children and it was harder than I’d anticipated. There was a real lack of options for my level, which offered any kind of flexibility, but then a job came up at Mencap, who are a very progressive employer.

I found someone that I jelled with and we decided to job share – a completely new concept to me. It’s great for employers as you effectively get two heads for the price of one. My job share partner and I work fixed days each week, but we have built in flexibility so that we can respond to business and personal needs when they arise.

She is currently on maternity leave so I am working full-time, but flexibly, so that two days a week I can pick my boys up from school. Full-time felt daunting at first, but Mencap genuinely puts the needs of its employees first, trusts them to be professionals and get the work done. That approach has made all the difference and I’m surprised more employers haven’t cottoned on to the fact that a better work/life balance ultimately makes people more productive.

You have to be very organised, but it’s incredibly empowering and my team has adjusted well. They know that I am available if something crucial comes up, but they respect the time I need to spend with my children. As well as being more focused and efficient at work, it’s been really positive for mine and my family’s wellbeing. My husband and I didn’t want to perpetuate old-fashioned gender stereotypes. We wanted our sons to grow up seeing us sharing parenting responsibilities alongside work, so that they experience gender equality as the social norm not the exception.”

Ben Shaw

Ben Shaw

Head of Industry

Employer: BB&Talk, Sky plc
Sector: Media & Entertainment/Creative

Flexitime Working from home and remote working

“I have been flexi-working since joining Sky in 2010. I normally work from home three days a week and spend the other two in Sky, I have two young children and working from home means I can walk my daughter to school in the morning and give my wife some much needed relief from the kids. She can go out and leave my young son with me or I can do the school pick up.”

Alexandra Jardine

Alexandra Jardine

Associate Creativity Editor

Employer: Advertising Age Magazine
Sector: Publishing

Flexitime Working from home and remote working

“Working flexibly from home has enabled me to work for the past eight years at a job I enjoy, while at the same time being there for my children for everything that matters to them, from homework to sports days and play rehearsals (plus, not having to invest in extra childcare). This works very well for our family, as I have a husband who has a very full-on medical job and is rarely able to take time off or work flexibly.

I don’t think this would have been possible 20 years ago in my job as part of a team on a magazine, but technology means that I can file all my work remotely and talk to my work colleagues easily using Slack, email etc. even though they are in the US (and in fact, my direct boss also works from home in LA.) I also feel I am more productive working at home in a quiet study than I would be in an office. You do miss office banter and possibly the ability to bounce ideas around, but on the whole I think it enables you to focus and to concentrate on work without distractions – or office politics.”

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