It’s the year 2000. It’s a typical recruitment office. Shiny nylon suits and large brash ties. Creaky office chairs. Chunky monitors. Tiny mobile phones.
It’s the norm, and the norm is a 20-year-old soundtrack still ringing true: Dolly Parton, Working 9 to 5.
Recruitment, though, well that was different. The standard industry mantra? Recruitment – it isn’t 9 to 5. The expectation was to come in early and stay late, day in, day out…., and then some. How else could you get to the top, and stay there, in a cut-throat sales industry?
Well, now there is another way. Times have changed. Has your employer moved with them?
Flexible working has brought management by results to the fore, not management by presence.
Sales is still sales – but technology isn’t just about being one step ahead of your rivals, it’s about getting the best out of your team.
Employers have realised that work-life balance, in the modern age, is different. There isn’t a dividing line. One doesn’t stop, for the other to start.
To get the best out of people, you give people the freedom to get the best out of themselves.
Parenthood is a pertinent issue in flexible working. Is there still an underlying feeling that parenthood and career progression are mutually exclusive? Can you enjoy the former…, without sacrificing the latter?
Recently, we put the issue out there for debate on LinkedIn.
Have things really changed? Is flexible working just a clichéd hook employers use in job adverts?
Or are we in the middle: Does ‘acceptance’ of flexible working stop at a certain level of seniority?
Is there a pressure to ‘forfeit’ flexible working when you reach a certain point in your career?
We got some interesting, positive responses:
Rosie Whiteford, Business Development Manager at Packington Free Range:
“I am on the first year of ‘doing the school runs’. This is, on many levels, an amazing benefit to mine and my family’s welfare – which until I did it, I didn’t realise the impact it would have. Coincidentally, the job has not suffered either!”
Pete Colby, Senior HR Professional at Rolls-Royce:
“I think sometimes dads think flexibility won’t be for them. For the last seven years, I’ve worked flexibly by taking my daughter to school three days per week and managed my diary accordingly – i.e., always prioritising precious family time and never compromising for ‘important’ meetings, which can easily be arranged around flexible working. Rolls-Royce has always been brilliant, whatever level you’re at. Sometimes people (especially dads) assume flexible working wouldn’t be accommodated. Ask the question alongside how you’ll make it work and most of the time there’ll be a solution that works for all!”
Sara Dale, Resourcing Coordinator at Kerry Foods:
“I am embracing the flexibility of working from home. I feel like I am much more productive on the days working at home and on the days in the office, as I am not tired from a week of being stuck in the rush-hour traffic. It’s nice to work for a company that offers flexible working.”
Can you really hold down the highest role in a company and still work part-time?
When your company states they embrace true flexible working, do you feel they mean it?
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