Flexible-working. It’s a term that has long been regarded as a luxury afforded only to working-mums and reinforcing the traditional gender roles. This stereotyping and lack of understanding has contributed to a somewhat confusing definition of the term - attaching a stigma to what should be seen as a positive aspect of modern working life, regardless of gender, age or race.
So what does it really mean and how can we use it the best of our advantage?
Speaking amongst colleagues, it’s clear that we all have very different interpretations of flexible-working and how it should be used. GOV.UK defines it simply as, “a way of working that suits an employee’s needs” and we actually have a legal right to request it, so why do so many of us still see it as a luxury?
“All employees have the legal right to request flexible working – not just parents and carers.”
A candidate-centric approach
Here at the Serocor group, flexible-working is actively encouraged as its clear the traditional 9-5 working day just doesn’t cut it anymore. Working flexibly allows us to embrace this and use it to our advantage…
Sarah Howard, Head of Marketing, is an ardent supporter of flexible-working for this reason, “My entire team works flexibly, meaning there is usually someone in from 7.30am to 6.30pm, which is great for approachability and working with colleagues in different time zones. We also found that candidates prefer to be contacted outside of working hours, so it’s more candidate-centric to have a range of people in the office when candidates are available.”
Keeping up with kids!
It’s not all about business needs though, employee satisfaction is just as important, especially in this day and age when striking an equilibrium between our work and personal life is no easy feat…
Exhausted father of three (under three), Tom Hickling, feels our flexible-working policy has been crucial in allowing him to head up our Cyber Security division, whilst ensuring he is not just a myth to his children during the week. Many of us find it hard to broach the subject of flexible-working to our peers and managers but this wasn’t the case for Tom, “the team here actually approached me about the flexible working scheme to ensure I was aware of it and making the best use of it to give me as much balance as possible, ensuring that my family came first, something I am and will forever be grateful for”.
Broaching it with the boss…
Director of People Development, Heather Cracknell, works condensed hours over a 9 day fortnight; “…Although as a member of HR who actively promotes flexible working, it did take me weeks before I had the conversation with my manager. I really overthought every scenario I could and had examples of how it would benefit me as well as the company. It was, in fact, one of the easiest conversations I have had, no examples needed, just a positive “yes”!” This just re-enforces that if you work hard, show commitment and dedication, it is never a hard conversation to have. “It’s great, I know that extra day off benefits me and provides some much needed “me time”.”
Would flexible-working suit your lifestyle? Check out our vacancies to join our flexible, open culture.