What Does Flexible Working Mean For Our Team? Part 1
First to explain how working remotely, and with flexibility has impacted their lives is our PR & Communications Specialist, Jemma Dougherty.
Before March 2019 ‘flexible working’ was a paragraph in the staff handbook. One that meant parents & carers could request unpaid leave to look after their children.
I’ve been a parent for 11 years now and have never been in a position that I could afford the luxury of unpaid leave to spend time with the people that matter most in my life.
Summers were spent ferrying them between grandparents, summer schemes and extended playdates just so I could be at my desk 9-5 each day.
Summer of 2020 I found myself on furlough and later made redundant. It wasn’t a highlight of my career, but it led to one of the best times on my life. I got to spend quality time with my kids. I was off for longer than I was during either of my maternity leaves, and I got to know my girls all over again.
Don’t get me wrong, there were many days I longed for the routine and a ‘break’ from being mum but overall it was a major win.
So, when the time came to go back to the world of work, the thought of going back to only seeing them as I hurried them out the door in the morning as they inhale their breakfast mid walk was daunting.
But perhaps the biggest change to come from the last 18 months for me is the fact that flexible working has become the norm. And at Fibrus, it’s not just a paragraph in the staff handbook. It’s reality. It’s encouraged.
As long as I am available during core hours and my work is done, I can keep my own hours. It’s a revelation, and a breath of fresh air to feel trusted to do the job you’ve been employed to do.
I can now do the school run in the morning without feeling the need to break the speed limit to make sure I’m back at my desk. I can pick my girls up and head to the park in the afternoons. I don’t have to miss school plays, parent teacher meetings or get my mum to take them to their doctor appointments.
I get to have a career, and play an active role in the lives of my children, who are after all, the most important people in my life.
Do I work at night once they are asleep? Absolutely! But I’ve been able to read them a story and kiss them goodnight despite the pressures of work.
In a new company, that is growing at phenomenal rate, the ability to create such a flexible working culture and one in which the entire team is looked after - physically and mentally - is testament to the amazing people at the helm.
Fibrus may be busy, it may be a little stressful at times and I am definitely challenged daily but I know I landed in the right place at the right time. Right for me and right for my family.