Our #WorkThatWorks Movement calls on businesses everywhere to join us and show their support for flexible working. And join us they have! The Movement is gaining serious momentum with so many brilliant businesses making flexible working a reality for more of us today. And as our #WorkThatWorks report revealed the impact on the economy could be massive; giving it a £62.5 billion boost annually.
All these businesses prove there is no one size fits all when it comes to adopting a #WorkThatWorks culture. This is about joining The Movement and accepting we need to change the culture of how we work in Britain. From fully remote teams to just the odd person working flexibly, it all counts. Below are just some of the amazing businesses who have joined The Movement sharing their take on what #WorkThatWorks looks like for them.
“We created a working culture at Netmums and now at ChannelMum.com where our staff could work from home apart from necessary meetings. Just 60 per cent of their hours needed to be done between 9 and 5. The rest could be done early mornings, evenings, weekends: whatever worked for the age and stage of the family. At ChannelMum.com we even actively encourage staff to dip out of work, attend baby and toddler groups, school events and do the school run. This way every team member stays connected to the audience of young mums we serve.
Siobhan Freegard OBE, Founder
“At WAH London we don’t care when and how you do the work, just as long as it’s done. I think it’s massively important to cater to the busy lives of women. We essentially work two or three jobs, they should fit around our lives, not the other way around. We are based in London but our COO works remotely from Leicestershire. Our bookings manager is just about to return from maternity and is going to work from home at the hours that suit her and her new baby.”
Sharmadean Reid MBE, Owner and Founder
“There’s an army of super smart mums out there who are prevented from returning to full time work for a multitude of reasons and they’re a huge untapped resource. If employers could see that by offering flexibility they’d open themselves up a wealth of talent that really could add value to their business. At TBSeen.com we ask that the team are available for meetings between 10-4pm and then they make up the rest of their hours as they see fit, empowering them to get their workload actioned in a way that enables them to have a better work life balance.”
Kate Thornton, Founder and Editor-in-Chief
"As an online business, there is absolutely no requirement for someone to be manning an office 9-5pm. In fact, most customer enquiries come in the evening or on a Sunday. Our Customer Service is run by Hannah who has two small children and she fits the work in around her family, letting us know if she's unavailable for a few hours so someone else can pick things up if it's urgent.
We also work with people rather than agencies - there is this growing awesome pool of talented women working for themselves, whether in PR, design or legal services, because they couldn't go back to their old company. They have all the skills and talent, and generally cost less than an agency as you speak direct to the person doing the work and you're not paying for an account manager to relay conversations to the people doing the work."
Steph Douglas, Founder
"Nearly three quarters of NCT staff have flexible working and are home based and part time. There are many varied working patterns according to personal or family commitments. Many of our office based team work from home one or two days a week which reduces the stress of weekly commutes. We always genuinely consider any flexible working requests and truly believe this helps us both gain and retain a highly skilled and diverse team.”
Jill Creese, Director, Human Resources
“Notonthehighstreet.com is over 10 years old and from the start, we offered flexible working. We saw talent and would get it any way we could. I strongly believe in finding talent first and then trying to make ‘the role’ work for that perfect person.
We weren’t really aware of the ‘social’ change we were making. It sort of just happened and then there it was a huge number of people all working businesses around their lives. It was incredible to realise that we were making ‘balance’ more possible. School runs were being done and picks ups too, all around building businesses.”
Holly Tucker MBE Co-Founder and Chief Inspirator
My business has evolved and grown around flexible working. In my view it doesn’t matter when the work is done, just that it’s done on time. There’s a huge resource of talent out there who may not be able to work 9-5 hours due to other commitments, whether family or other dependents, and it is exciting that opportunities are opening up for such people.
Flexible working is very much the norm now and I believe the benefits go both ways between employer and employee. For example, if an employee needs to leave to attend a child’s sports day or requires variable working times we would encourage it, However if we were working to an important deadline we would also hope that they stay behind and help the team pull it together."
Kirsty Henshaw, Founder and MD
"We trust our teams will manage their time and deliver the work that needs to be done. We wanted to forgo the idea of “presenteeism” that can be used as evidence of productivity. Everyone works differently and is stimulated by different environments, so if people work best from a library or a coffee shop then that is fine. Flexible working is about getting the best out of people not making sure that their nose is to the grindstone in the office."
Anna Hickey, Managing Director
"We totally champion flexible working and have launched a returnship scheme for mums that provides them with training, mentoring and vocational experience. Returnships could so be offered more widely to provide mum’s with experience, mentoring and training to help them restart back into work and confidently secure flexible careers.
We have five mums in our team who work flexible hours, we have team meetings once a week virtually during the day and then we crack on with tasks each week in time that works for us or the client in some cases during the day or evening."
Heather Black, Managing Director
"We need more flexibility and understanding in the workplace and a change of culture. I avoid scheduling meetings after 5pm and no one is looked down on for leaving on time, especially not mums who need to get back to their kids. It’s important to build a trusting relationship with your team. There is just no need to scrutinise every move they make. Communication is also key: we all share online calendars in the office so we’re kept in the loop with where people are."
Tamara Lohan Founder and CTO