Flexible Working: Being a Mother and Employee
In insight / By Katy Flannery / 08 November 2019
Returning to work after having children is a big decision that many will face. You feel incredibly guilty, you worry whether or not you have made the right choice for your family and you feel that your children are missing out because you won’t be around all the time. There are definitely pros and cons on both sides but often you have to decide whether it is even worth working after covering childcare costs.
According to Workingmums' Annual Survey 2018, 29% of parents pay over £500 a month in childcare! Although flexible working still requires childcare for many, it does reduce the number of hours that are needed. This is why many try to combine flexible working with childcare to achieve a happy medium. Requests to adapt flexible working styles are becoming more popular for parents returning to work after maternity or paternity leave, but these requests are also more frequent throughout employees' parenting years compared to previous generations. The days of worrying about leaving the office on time are soon replaced by leaving early for nursery and school pick-ups.
Nasstar's Marketing Executive, Katy Flannery, reflects on her experiences of being both a mother and employee.
"I joined Nasstar's Marketing Department in March 2014 when it was a much smaller organisation. Despite the huge growth of the company in recent years, one thing that definitively hasn’t changed is how well I’ve been looked after as a colleague at Nasstar.
"Before I had my two daughters, I worked 40 hours over five days. When I had my first daughter, Abby, Nasstar gave me the flexibility to reduce my hours to four days. After having my second daughter, Ella, the thought of returning to work left me worried about the prospect of juggling work and home life, especially with my husband working away more frequently. So I reduced my hours further to three days, this then reduces my childcare costs and means I can spend more quality time with Abby and Ella. They are both growing up very quickly and every minute with them is so precious."
“The Office of National Statistics believes that 50% of UK employees will be working remotely by next year.”
Katy continues: "Remote working is on the rise and it's great for working parents: especially when you receive that dreaded call from the nursery or school to say your child has been sick or has a temperature so will need picking up. When I get that call (fingers crossed not anytime soon), I’m lucky enough to be able to work remotely from home as Nasstar has the technology in place to allow me to work efficiently and stay connected with everyone. I can access emails, documents, and information from anywhere at any time. I can share files securely and collaborate live on documents changes."
Here are some of Nasstar’s secure services that can be accessed when working from home:
Microsoft SharePoint is a browser-based collaboration platform that allows users to upload tons of stuff – including Office documents, PDFs, images, videos, exported email messages, calendar entries, tasks, contracts and project information. Microsoft SharePoint is a useful tool which enables staff members to access anything from anywhere (even your back garden on a warm day) at any time.
Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based team collaboration software. It’s a great way for small teams to communicate and collaborate. While at home I can message, call and file share with my colleagues. It’s so easy to use!
Microsoft Yammer, often referred to as the ‘Facebook for business’, is a private platform for enterprise social networking. It offers some great tools; you can create relationships with your colleagues, manage private messages, post files, allow editing of group documents, gain valuable feedback and post relevant announcements and events. Yammer is also great for keeping up-to-date with relevant work projects and news.
"As I’m sure many of you know, being a working parent is hard and establishing a working pattern that works best for you and your family is very important. Communication between you and your employer plays a massive part and a company that offers flexibility to accomodate employees' families is definitely more attractive to working parents!
"At Nasstar, I've always felt valued and respected by everyone around me. As well as being flexible about my working hours, I’ve always received support and guidance from my employer regardless of my personal needs.
"Juggling your career and family is hard... just keep going, you're doing great!"