What are the challenges and opportunities of working flexibly?
I’ve had two daughters in the last three years and have had the opportunity to try flexible working in a variety of forms over those years. One of the challenges of working flexibly can be acceptance from your co-workers, I can honestly say I never experienced this with my team at QIC Limited. The reason for this I believe comes back to culture and communication, my team was fantastic at keeping me in the loop and consulting me and I always felt valued even in the early transition back from maternity leave while I was working a few short days per week. It can often be difficult when returning from maternity leave, but the attitude and awareness of other members of your team can easily turn the experience from difficult to successful with minimal effort. The other challenges include managing time creep, which can easily happen when part time quickly becomes full time as work ramps up.
In terms of the opportunities of working flexibly for me it gives you back control of your time, which is your most important asset in life. Working flexibly allows me to better balance all the aspects of life that are important to me, at this stage of my life that means spending time with my daughters and family, being there when they need me and growing as a professional in the industry, doing something that I really enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction from. From a business perspective I believe offering flexibility in the work place has a number of benefits including accessing a wide pool of talent that are not looking for full time roles and secondly improving the happiness of your workforce which results in more engaged people, a better culture and ultimately better business outcomes.
Flexible working isn’t just part time, at QIC Limited a lot of employees build flexibility into their roles from part time, to working from home, changing up working hours, to job share. We have a senior transaction focused team in a job share role, it’s a great example that you can make anything work if you approach it the right way.
"We have a senior transaction focused team in a job share role, it's a great example that you can make anything work if you approach it the right way."