by Emma Cleary
This year’s International Women’s Day, #ChooseToChallenge, is for me the perfect reminder of all the fabulous women I’ve encountered on my journey who have inspired me to continue championing flexible working and its benefits.
As the founder of Flexibility Matters, I started my flexible work journey out of the necessity to find a job in Sussex that accommodated three nursery aged children! Flex is fundamental to work and life and I’ve made it my mission to find flexible roles for talented and experienced parents to allow them to continue to progress their careers.
At a pivotal webinar on ‘How Covid-19 made working flexibly business critical’, some of the wonderfully flexible ladies I’ve met along the way and some of whom I work with now, were able to reveal their most important insights on busting the nine to five working myth.
Jane Galloway, Head of Flexible Working at NHS England, and NHS Improvement said: “In general, increasing access to flexible working options increases staff engagement, and we know that in the NHS, good staff engagement leads to better patient care.”.
Dagmar Albers, UK Diversity & Inclusion Lead, who has been avidly working within Pfizer to roll out team pact workshops on informal flexible working agreements, revealed: “Once teams agree a pact, they are then able to work at a time and place best for them in terms of productivity, energy and of course positive outcomes, whilst effectively managing commitments outside of work. It is about the outcome produced and not the number of hours worked and about trusting each other to deliver in a way that works for them”.
Jessica Hornsby, Organisational Capability Lead has been working within Thales on fundamentally shifting the mindset around flexible working, that they now term SMART working, for over four years. She saw many assumptions smashed by COVID-19. The most impactful being how few roles ‘have’ to be office based.
Another remarkable lady, Ursula Tavender, Learning and Development Specialist and Co-Director of Flexpo, has been leading the charge on flex and equality in the workplace for over 5 years now. Ursula says: “Flexible working is the most powerful tool we have in the working world to make sure that everyone, whatever their circumstances, has equal access to meaningful work and equal opportunity to progress. It has always been the key to closing pay gaps, and now it has also become the key to our ability to build back better as we navigate the phases of the pandemic. We’ve learned so much during this past year about what’s possible; now is the time to leverage the opportunity in front of us to change the world of work forever.”
For the past six years Flexibility Matters have been matching businesses with results-oriented professionals that need a flexible approach to their work hours. Whilst influencing business mindsets and challenging traditional cultures has not been simple, with a little push from a pandemic that chose to challenge us all, it now feels like a more flexible approach to work is here to stay.
We’ve been reporting for years that flexible workers are more focused, productive and happy and we know the key ingredients to being a successful one. Whether you’ve been made redundant or you’re simply looking for a brand new flexible challenge, get in touch on 07810 541599 or register at www.flexibilitymatters.co.uk