Part time

Working less than full-time hours (usually by working fewer days).

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.

Nick Denholm

Nick Denholm

Global Digital Learning Manager

Employer: Vodafone
Sector: Telecoms

Part time

Vodafone’s vision to be a purpose led organisation started me thinking about my own personal purpose, a desire to define and embed a skills framework to support young people transitioning out of care services.

I approached Vodafone with a proposal to reduce my working week to three days to allow me to focus on achieving this ambition. I was given the opportunity to demonstrate how this could be structured with my existing role and Vodafone have been hugely supportive in helping me bring this to fruition.

As a result I have freed up my time to work with my local borough, education authorities and local businesses to start to build a preparation program for young people from the age of 16. This is a period of great anxiety for this group as it signals the start of their transition to independence.

The new working model has also provided an opportunity for my team to pick up additional shared responsibilities aligned with their personal development and this move to part-time will hopefully have a positive impact for all involved. Vodafone have demonstrated a forward thinking, flexible mind-set for which I’m really grateful.”

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.”

Verity Fenner

Verity Fenner

Creative

Employer: AMV BBDO
Sector: Advertising

Part time

Alex Grieve, Executive Creative Director at AMV BBDO, commented: “If you want to pioneer a new way of working, work with the very best pioneers. 50% of Verity’s time is worth a 100% of most. We’re very lucky to have her.”

Verity Fenner added: “I’m delighted to be a pioneer in this fantastic scheme, which will hopefully kick start initiatives not only across our industry, but all others too. Working on a permanent contract, but only 2 days a week, gives me so much flexibility with not only work, but with my 2 year old Son too. It’s the dream more people should be asking for and pushing for. Dad’s too. Lots of agencies talk about these things but don’t actually follow through, so I’m determined to shine a light on AMV’s willingness to try something new that’s so desperately needed.”

Vicky

Vicky

General Counsel

Employer: Sky
Sector: Media & Entertainment

Part time

“I’ve worked part time since returning from my first maternity leave in 2004. Whilst working part time I’ve had three significant promotions, the first in 2005, to run the Regulatory & Competition legal team, the second in July 2016 to UK General Counsel and the third in 2019 to Sky Group General Counsel.

It has been challenging, but I feel lucky to have the best of both worlds – an incredibly interesting and engaging job, and the ability to spend time with the boys and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Paddy Boyle

Paddy Boyle

Sector: Financial services

Part time

Paddy was clear when he joined LCH that full-time was not an option. As Global Head of ForexClear, he has a varied role, which includes widening understanding of what clearing houses do. He is responsible for hiring and developing a strong leadership team, and leads a department offering industry-leading risk management for currency trades. He also promotes ForexClear at conferences and seminars, and by engaging with thought leaders. Paddy became part-time to support his wife when she returned to work after a career break. He is keen that his colleagues benefit from his experiences and works with his HR partners to support the development of flexible working arrangements.

Penelope Rees and Sam Monck

Penelope Rees and Sam Monck

Sector: Transport

Part time

Jointly leading a portfolio of more than 1500 projects across Transport for London and local borough roads, Penelope and Sam will oversee £0.8bn of investment over the next five years. They are focused on making London a safer, happier environment for all, delivering investments which directly contribute to the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy objectives. Amongst their achievements is the delivery of the Safer Junctions programme. Penelope and Sam became job share partners after Penelope was seconded to cover Sam’s role when he was managing another programme. For Penelope, this delivers a fulfilling career alongside caring for her two children; for Sam, the opportunity to balance his work with other passions, such as sculpture.

Rachel Bridges

Rachel Bridges

Diagnostic Radiographer

Employer: Allied Health Professionals
Sector: Health

Part time

“Throughout my returning to practice training I was able to complete my required hours by doing 3 days a week. The department were very supportive and flexible in allowing me to work which days suited me best. Upon starting back work officially as a Diagnostic Radiographer the department again was happy for me to undertake 3 days a week work which suited me and my husband. My husband was able to plan out his working days around when I was due to work, so when he had his days off I was at work and vice versa. My family were also very supportive and helped with childcare whenever we needed it. It was tricky at first and initially I had my reservations that it would work but 3 years on and it’s worked out great. I’m now slowly building up to full time hours with both my children starting full time at school it has become a lot easier.

If you are considering returning to practice, I’d say go for it! It’s not as difficult as you imagine it to be and don’t be afraid to contact people to ask for help to get started. I found a return to practice radiography course which included clinical placements at nearby University Hospital Leicester. It will be nerve-racking when you first start back but that will pass and it’s well worth it in the end!”

Ramani Armstrong

Ramani Armstrong

Sector: Professional scientific and technical activities

Part time

Ramani works within the Atkins London structural engineering team, with responsibilities across design, delivery and new business development. Since joining the company she has delivered a number of technically complex jobs, typically leading the structural design of several £50-£100m projects in parallel. She is also Atkins’ Structural Lead for the education sector in London, in which capacity she has established strong client relationships and won new business across numerous major frameworks. She also leads the team’s Apprenticeship Programme, where her initiatives have mentored and inspired the next generation of engineering talent. Ramani has two children, and works part time in order to spend some of the working week with them. She was initially hired, and subsequently promoted, on a part-time basis.

Rambaut Fairley

Rambaut Fairley

Group Commercial Director

Employer: Bourne Leisure
Sector: Leisure

Part time

“As father to 2 year old identical twins, parenthood has always involved juggling urgent priorities. And it has always been really important to me to play a full and active part in my children’s lives; work needs to manage around that.

When my girls were 6 months old my wife went back to work full-time, at my request, and I took over looking after them day-to-day on shared parental leave. It was a massive sacrifice for her to give up 6 months of her maternity leave, but one she gladly made for our family. It was the most amazing 6 months, and I am eternally grateful.

Once I reached the end of my 6 months of parental leave I returned to work 4 days a week, and my wife dropped down to 4 days as well. We both have the same day off, Friday, which let’s us spend 3 days together as a family. It also provides a bit of insurance if one of us needs to travel for work, although we have only had to use that twice in 18 months.

My employer has been very supportive, and never questioned whether it was possible to do my role on 4 days a week. Fridays are protected and moving down to 4 days hasn’t stopped me being home for bath time whenever I’m not travelling.

It’s really important for our business, and for all businesses, to have leaders who demonstrate that flexible working is effective, and can even be encouraged. I don’t really like the term role-model, but it is really gratifying to be told that your example has encouraged others.”

Robert Oldham

Robert Oldham

Specialist HR Adviser

Employer: Royal Bank Scotland
Sector: Finance

Working from home and remote working Part time

“I currently work 28 hours a week over 4 days (having a Wednesday off as a rest mid-week). I have flexibility in my role so can do 2 days working from home and 2 days in the office but generally do 3 days in the office and 1 from home I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and find a full 35 hour week exhausting to the extent that I can’t enjoy family time at the weekend. A little over 4 years ago I made the decision to reduce my hours to give me a break during the week. This has given me my weekends back and I’m so glad that I made the decision.

The benefits are easy – more energy to enjoy the weekend and the business has benefitted to, as I am able to bring the best of myself on the days when I’m working. If I am not feeling great on any day, I have the flexibility to work from home to avoid the commute.

In all honesty the biggest challenge is coming into a fuller inbox in the morning after my day off – sometimes it can feel like you’ve been on holiday. Inevitably you will miss some meetings or updates on your day off but with modern technology it’s easy to get back up to speed.

My line manager has been very supportive and fully supports flexible working. A number of people in my team work different patterns, from part time to compressed working weeks. The bank is also very supportive of different ways of working and has embraced working from home and flexible working spaces such as hub-sites and areas where you can book a desk in a different location to your main site. We have a weekly team meeting on a Thursday so everyone attends that and flexes their work week around that day.”

Samantha Clarke

Samantha Clarke

Chief Executive

Employer: Canadian Portland
Sector: Real Estate

Part time

“When I first fell pregnant, I had started to reap the rewards of 5 years of study to qualify as a chartered surveyor and working through a deep recession. I did not want to give up my career, but also could not see how I could balance my job with a new family, as I worked long hours in London.

My employers agreed that I could return on a 3 day week. I found this stressful however, as there was an expectation to complete the work of 5 days in 3 and I got calls from the office on my days off. Overnight trips proved difficult, especially if my child was sick.

An opportunity arose within a new property company based at home. I was clear about my working days – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – this pattern meant that if I was ever needed by the office on a non-working day – I would always be in the office tomorrow. The pattern also made managing matters at home easier, as I was never working two days in a row, and could accommodate parent consultations, sports days and performances. This arrangement worked well for 18 years. During this time I had two further children with maternity leave, became Company Secretary, a Director and finally Chief Executive! Now my children are much older, I flex my working days more.

These two different environments taught me the need for an agreed working structure, mutual respect for it, and realistic expectations of what can be achieved. When all of these are present, combining a career and family is hugely rewarding and confidence boosting. Whilst there have been situations where my family time has been compromised, these are far outweighed by the financial benefit of working, which all of the family members benefit from.”

Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson

Director, Audit Services and Governance

Employer: Deloitte
Sector: Professional Services

Part time

“As a single parent, I have worked flexibly – 3-4 days a week, over the last 17 years. When my children grew older, I wanted to use agile working to start volunteering so I decided to volunteer with Pets as Therapy, with my own dog – Maggie.

The charity certifies therapy dogs and helps people to share their pets with people in need. Thanks to my flexibility, I can commit to weekly volunteering sessions with Maggie, giving the vulnerable people I meet a stable routine.”

Sarah Bastajian

Sarah Bastajian

Director

Employer: Willmott Dixon
Sector: Construction

Part time

“My husband also works for Willmott Dixon and was keen to have time at home with the children. We decided to ask to have alternate Mondays off. It works really well, the twins get the best of both of us and we get equal time with them.

My husband, who is a building manager, was a bit nervous about proposing dropping a day a fortnight. He put it to his boss that if he was off on holiday his construction manager would need to cover for him. He needn’t have worried, though, he said it was the easiest conversation he ever had. I knew that my boss would say yes because I was already working four days a week. The arrangement would mean I was doing one day a fortnight more.

As my job is office-based and my husband is on site I am more flexible during the week which means it is easier for me to do drop-offs and pick-ups of children as I can pick up work in the evenings if I need to.

Both of us share time off for sick children, based on whose diary is the busiest at the time.”

Srin Madipalli

Srin Madipalli

Sector: Hospitality and Tourism

Part time

Srin’s wealth of experience includes completing an MBA at Oxford, working as a corporate lawyer in a Magic Circle firm and teaching himself to code in order to set up accessible travel startup, Accomable. When Airbnb acquired Accomable in 2017, Srin joined the San Francisco office. His team use technology to put accessibility at the heart of the Airbnb experience, such as replacing the old ‘wheelchair accessible’ search filter with 27 accessibility filters, making it easier for guests to find homes that fit with their individual needs.

Srin works flexibly to accommodate his condition his health condition (SMA Type II). He is a high-profile public speaker who has raised disability and accessibility issues at forums including the United Nations, Rio Paralympics and the Tech Inclusion Summit.

Nicola Farrer

Nicola Farrer

Sector: Education

Part time

Following a three-year career break, Nicola returned to research in 2014, within the Chemistry Department of the University of Oxford. A renowned expert in her field, she has built a small but flourishing independent, multi-disciplinary research group. They are currently working on the development and delivery of new treatments for children with brain tumours, for whom the five year survival rate is currently less than 1%. Her return was sponsored by organisations including the Medical Research Council, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Daphne Jackson Trust, and her research is currently supported by the Wellcome Trust, SCG and Cancer Research UK. Since her return, Nicola has informally mentored five aspiring returners and other researchers who were interested in pursuing flexible working

Naomi Hahn

Naomi Hahn

Sector: Advertising

Part time

With the responsibility of providing the strategic direction for the business’ commercial products, Naomi leads a tribe of product, technology and delivery managers at Auto Trader. Her role includes overseeing the company’s commercial and product strategy, and creating and delivering digital products to support over 13,000 car retailers. She also drives the company’s digital advertising strategy, and was instrumental in Auto Trader being one of the first UK companies to bring digital media buying in-house. She is responsible for a multi-million pound P&L. Naomi works part time to balance her working life with family time, and to be available for some school drop-offs and pick-ups. She is part of the business’ operational leadership team which compromises of 50% women, and acts as a mentor to several colleagues.

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.”

Michael Heap

Michael Heap

Sector: Professional scientific and technical activities

Part time

Michael is part of a team at EY that looks at how the firm can employ emerging and disruptive technologies, such as Robotics Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence, to add greater value to its clients. He is also a key driver of encouraging EY’s employees to adopt an innovative mindset and to get involved with the initiatives his team are developing. Michael moved to a part-time role in 2017 to start his own tech business, an app called Tmup, which helps users find people to play sport with. He has launched an internal network for EY employees who are interested in starting their own business, and recently won EY’s EMEIA Better Begins With You award, which celebrates people who have found new ways to build a better working world – EY’s purpose.

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.”

Lynne Terry

Lynne Terry

Area Manager

Employer: Greggs
Sector: Retail

Part time

“I work a 4 day week which really works for me. As I am only in 4 days I am more efficient as I need to ensure I plan my time to ensure all tasks are completed within the timescale given.

The main challenge is fitting everything in, but I achieve this through careful planning and organisation.”

Louise Byrne

Louise Byrne

Vice President of Global Talent

Employer: InterContinental Hotels Group
Sector: Hospitality

Working from home and remote working Part time

“Since having my children, I’ve always worked part-time – at first this was 3 days a week, then when they started school I did 5 days around school hours and now it’s 4 with one of these days from home. My partner works in a demanding role with a longer commute meaning it’s hard for him to be able to share the childcare responsibilities. Having this flexibility has enabled me to be there for my boys at key times, to do pick up and drop off at school and have playdates. It’s also enabled me to focus on passions that I have – running, playing tennis, cooking, renovating the house….I feel I can be the mum, partner and friend that I want to be.

 My team are based all over the world – Shanghai, Atlanta, Singapore, Bangkok, London. So whether I’m in the office on skype or at home makes little difference. I’m proud that we’ve been able to offer flexibility throughout the team with 30% of my leadership team working less than 5 day week and all colleagues having the opportunity to flex where and when they work. Being open-minded about hours and location of roles has enabled me to attract and retain top talent that if we’d been more rigid, we wouldn’t have access to.

Working for a company (and a boss) who values output and not input is key – having trust, strong relationships and being willing to be flexible on both sides is critical. Whilst I’ve been part-time I’ve been promoted and my role keeps getting expanded – IHG has never seen my flexible working as a barrier to career progression.”

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.”

Katie Lyle

Katie Lyle

Design Coordinator

Employer: Willmott Dixon
Sector: Construction

Working from home and remote working Part time

“The flexi-working initiative at Willmott Dixon has enabled me to start and finish work earlier whilst condensing my hours. This means that I’m able to spend Mondays and more time in the evenings with my two year old daughter. Having the option to adjust my hours to better suit my home life has allowed me to stay working full-time – something that I previously wasn’t sure would be possible after having children. I am extremely grateful for this as it breaks down many of the obstacles that can present themselves when you’re a full-time working mum.

I believe that the open and fair culture at Willmott Dixon sets a great example to the rest of the industry. Whilst I’ve already seen an increase in numbers, I would like to see more men working flexibly so that they don’t miss out on family time and also to improve the equilibrium when it comes to childcare and household duties. Striving towards a better work-life balance for everyone will undoubtedly play a part in keeping people happy, motivated and healthy.”

Katherine Duncan

Katherine Duncan

Bakery Operations Manager

Employer: Greggs
Sector: Retail

Part time

“I take off alternate Fridays, so effectively I work a 9 day fortnight. I get quality time with my children, long weekends and some ‘me’ time (now they are at school), meaning I have a good work life balance.

I can’t always take a Friday off due to meeting commitments so I have to juggle things around and select a different day or postpone time off until it’s convenient.”

Kate Bassett

Kate Bassett

Head of Content

Employer: Management Today
Sector: Publishing

Working from home and remote working Part time

“As Management Today’s head of content, I spend 2.5 days a week directing our editorial strategy, writing features, and heading up the brand’s main annual campaigns ranging from 35 Women Under 35 to Britain’s Most Admired Companies. I also chair and co-produce Management Today’s Inspiring Women in Business and Young Women in Business conferences. I work flexibly – either from Haymarket’s HQ in Twickenham or from home.

Alongside my job at Management Today, I’m a freelance writer and am frequently invited to host business events up and down the country. This flexible, “”multi-hyphen career”” gives me the freedom to juggle lots of different projects and spend quality time with our two little girls, India and Edith.”

Juliet Gyamfi

Juliet Gyamfi

Sector: Professional scientific and technical activities

Part time

Juliet’s role covers three main areas; team leadership, specialist technical advice and project management support. As Team Leader, she has day-to-day oversight of everything from sickness and absence to performance and talent management. Within the technical part of her role, she provides pavement engineering advice on a multitude of projects. She also has project managerial duties for a number of Highways England projects, and is responsible for their collaborative performance framework deliverables. Juliet was employed and promoted on a part-time basis, a choice she made to create space for her family and her own wellbeing as well as pursuing her career. She has supported a number of her colleagues to pursue flexible working to enhance their work-life balance.

Joe Maher

Joe Maher

Talent Acquisition Manager

Employer: IHG Europe
Sector: Hospitality

Working from home and remote working Part time

“I am fortunate that IHG recognises the positive impact that flexible working can have on an employee’s performance & loyalty and definitely feel since moving to flexible working my performance has increased.

In my role as Talent Acquisition Manager I speak with people across the globe, often undertaking skype meetings at strange hours in the morning to accommodate the diaries of potential talent. What is great is that IHG recognises this and allows me the flexibility to get my time back.

I work 4 days a week with the flexibility of being able to work from home when needed which allows me to use weekends and any free time to focus on my second career as a professional Showjumper (equestrian). During the summer months I am often competing and travelling with the horses for 3 or 4 days at a time however by being very diligent with diary management and utilising all of the great technology made available by IHG (skype, Webex) I am still able to keep up to date and top of my job.

In summary flexible working means I am more focused, energised and passionate about my role which means in turn I am able to genuinely represent IHG positively in the market to attract talent.”

Hilary Schofield

Hilary Schofield

Sector: Financial Services

Part time

Previously a Food Factory Director, Hilary took an eleven year career break to bring up her children. Faced with a lack of suitable part-time roles to return to, she signed up for career coaching with Women Like Us, through which she identified transferable skills which helped her win a place on a return to work scheme within wealth management. Since returning, she has become one of the UK’s most highly qualified advisers, whose outstanding performance has led to regular promotion; she recently joined Partners Wealth Management as a Partner on a part-time basis. Hilary goes out of her way to promote the benefits of flexible working, with media appearances including interviewing David Cameron when he was Prime Minister and featuring on Woman’s Hour.

Graham LLoyd

Graham LLoyd

Head of Strategy Development

Employer: Nationwide Building Society
Sector: Financial Services

Part time

“I took 3 months shared parental leave for my son and returned to work part-time, 4 days a week. The benefits to myself, my wife and son feel huge… and dare I say it, to my team too, in terms of empowering them!

I changed my working pattern just over a year ago and a large part of the success is undoubtedly down to the organisation I work for and our people and culture. Since returning to work part-time, my wife and I have a far more balanced approach to parenting, allowing us to both be active parents but also providing the freedom to continue pursuing our careers.”

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.”

Francesca Pierce

Francesca Pierce

Director of Finance

Employer: Sky
Sector: Media & Entertainment

Part time

“In 2011, after having my first son, I moved from full-time to part-time so that I could have an extra day to spend more time with him. The balance worked well for me, so when I had my second son two years later, I decided to stick with it. Now they are 5 and 7, I’m still working flexibly and I’ve been promoted several times, including to my current role as Director of Finance.

Whatever your reason for going part-time – having children or otherwise – doesn’t mean the end of your career. In fact, it can provide that crucial balance to keep you motivated and engaged.”

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!”

Faith Pullen

Faith Pullen

European Financial Planning & Analysis Manager

Employer: Mars Incorporated
Sector: Food and Beverages

Term-time working & full-time part year Part time

“Over the years I have used; part time hours, flexible hours, a sabbatical and term time working. Currently I work 22.5 hours per week; 2 standard days and 2 short school hour days, with flexibility over which days these are, along with 4 weeks extended parental leave in the school summer holidays.

Of course there are occasions when I need to flex and catch up things later, but all my colleagues and managers are very supportive. When I’m working I’m able to fully commit without guilt, and thrive on the different challenges of my work versus personal role. An unexpected benefit of flexible working has been strengthening of skill set, it has focused development of prioritization, decision making, communication and delegation.

Supporting such a flexible working pattern and supporting me to take time away on sabbatical whilst a bold and brave move for Mars, is also common across the business, and has also required me to take some risks and be flexible on the career path I’ve taken but I’ve been lucky that the people and company have let me demonstrate that this works across a number of roles; UK, Global and European, both within my area of expertise and encouraging me to grow and develop in a new function and to maintain a successful career path.”

David

David

Business Analyst

Employer: Rank Group
Sector: Gaming & Entertainment

Part time

“I recently paid off my mortgage, and with both of my sons now grown up and able to look after themselves, I decided to reduce my working days from 5 to 4 to give me more time to pursue other interests.

The key to making this work is to stay flexible. A simple swap of a non-working day can be needed if you have to attend an important meeting. I did wonder if people would see a reduction of work hours negatively, but this hasn’t happened. I am now happier and more motivated.”

Charlotte Budd

Charlotte Budd

Director

Employer: Freuds
Sector: PR & Communications

Part time

“My husband and I share communications with the school so that it’s not just one parent doing all the school admin.

I’m on the class WhatsApp group and PTA facebook page which includes all info about social, extra-curricular and fundraising activities. My husband gets ‘parent mail’ which is the official communications channel of the school.

We discuss and share what we learn but by dividing up the channels we both handle different parts of administration and can be more agile at work around parenting/school commitments.”

Catherine Fry

Catherine Fry

Head of Compliance

Employer: Tritrax Management LLP
Sector: Financial Services

Part time

“I have been working flexibly for the last few years in my role as Head of Compliance in the investment management industry. I work part-time, but increased my core working hours from 3 days per week to 4 recently. The children didn’t need me around quite so much and I was able to take on some additional responsibilities.

More recently, I have changed my working pattern again, so that I work my 4 days across 5, and work one of those from home. This has allowed me to respond to my children’s immediate needs and acknowledges that, as they grow up, their needs can and will change. We have always found a way to meet both my family’s needs and my employers, and that is down to good communication between us.

My working environment is well organised, with meetings arranged well in advance which allows me to plan my working week to ensure that I am present when I need to be. It helps that technology allows us to work remotely, so if anything urgent comes up I can still attend to it straight away.

Working a shorter day has been great for productivity. Studies have shown that workers are not fully productive on a full working day so I feel my employer gains by me working additional shorter days rather than fewer longer ones. My children get to see me when they come home from school too, and I feel I’m supporting them as a stay at home mum would.”

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.”

Caitlin Cockerton

Caitlin Cockerton

Director

Employer: ?What If! Innovation
Sector: Professional Services

Annualised hours Part time

“I’ve worked flexibly on two models for the last 18 months, following my return to work after having my daughter. The first model – 4 days a week, Monday to Thursday – enabled me to dive back into work in a nearly-full time capacity while keeping 1 day a week to have dedicated time with my child. In the 15 months I worked on this model, I accelerated my career and earned a promotion, which was great. I at times worked more than 4 days per week and probably didn’t get the financial compensation for this ‘extra time’.

In my new role as a Director, I was keen to find a model that appreciated the true nature of our business – demanding full time work at times, but then also having some calmer periods. My new model is 180 days per year (equivalent to 3.5 days/week pro rata), worked flexibly – sometimes working 4 or 5 days a week when the demand is high, but also retaining the time I’m owed back, either by working 2 or 3 days some weeks, or by taking chunks of time off. This new model is an experiment for me and for the organisation and no one else at this level works on such a modelÄ so, we’ll see how it goes!”

Anna Cook

Anna Cook

Director of Customer Service, Sky

Employer: Sky
Sector: Media & Entertainment

Part time FEATURED

“Back in 2013 I was returning from maternity leave, living in Newcastle, with a job that I loved in Sky in communications that was based in Scotland and London. I wanted to come back to work. I loved my job but had no clue how I could be a brilliant mum and be brilliant at work.

My solution, which Sky fully supported, was part-time. Working 4 days a week but with flexibility so that I could be at work when I needed to be and still do some drop offs and pick-ups in Newcastle.

And for me it has worked. Through two promotions, numerous home life changes (my son starting school, a critically ill parent) and shuffling of hours, I manage to balance a big, broad job with being around at home.”

Angus Crowther

Angus Crowther

Founding Partner

Employer: Alchemists
Sector: Marketing

Part time

“So what flexible working means for me is that is has, frankly, changed my life. Having been part of the original Oystercatchers team from the start, it was incredibly stressful being a key member in a start-up with aggressive sales targets which in the end attracted a bid from Centaur Media.

Now I have begun a new consultancy, Alchemists but I am still able to work 4 days a week which I agreed with my business partner, Vlad Komanicky, before we started up. This allows me to concentrate on my vineyard and family farm in North Essex, and have more time with my 4 children. Flexible working is the future. I am more efficient and effective now. At Alchemists we use tech to communicate more efficiently and can work on stuff together online. I never waste time. I get a lot more done. I earn more. Crucially I see my wife and kids a lot more, I am happier and less stressed.”

Angela Chan

Angela Chan

Annualised hours Part time

“In her role as Head of Creative Diversity, Angela leads a team with responsibility for ensuring Channel 4’s programmes reflect the diversity of the audience, as well as advocating for more diversity in the creative industries as a whole. She and her colleagues work within the channel’s creative commissioning team to find and break new onscreen talent, boost underrepresented talent within the industry and advise independent producers on getting diversity right. She is also Head of Special Projects, using her experience in innovation and organisational change to deliver exciting new opportunities. Angela works four days per week in order to balance her career with her family and her studies. She is currently completing an Executive MBA with Ashridge Hult.”

Andy Rogers

Andy Rogers

Global HR Director, Government & Agencies

Employer: Sodexo UK & Ireland
Sector: Food Services & Hospitality

Part time

“I shifted to working three days a week in February as my wife fell ill last summer and I have needed to spend time supporting her since then.

My change in working hours has coincided with a change in my role. As a result, I have altered my approach and I am now able to plan my work commitments well in advance and review plans where travel is needed.

It has taken time to adapt to my new routine and I have found it easier to be clear about which days I work and which I do not, rather than change these around or operate on number of hours worked. I work from Tuesday to Thursday and while I do look through emails on Monday and Friday, I try to keep everything at arm’s length. On the days that I don’t work, my attention is on my wife, allowing me to be more focussed on my working days.

It has been challenging to adapt to not being available to colleagues on Monday and Friday, while working at 100% on the remaining days of the week. However, having a supportive and pragmatic boss, as well as a flexible employer has helped me enormously to balance my personal and professional commitments.”

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