FLEXIBLE working and supporting the many parents among our colleagues is at the forefront of what we do here at SF Recruitment. We are so thrilled with the results that - to celebrate Mother’s Day this year - we created a video of eight of our working mums discussing how our new approach has changed their lives.
From the Nottingham office, Ellie Boucker, Kerry Newham, Lyndsey Henry and Sam Kirk all agreed that the hybrid system of working from home with some days in the office, as well as part-time hours, gave them the greatest flexibility.
Working around school and nursery drop-off
Ellie, a senior recruitment consultant, explained how she fits her working day around nursery drop-off and pick-up with her daughter Agnes.
“I don’t think I’d be able to do my job if I didn’t have flexible working,” she said. “And because I’m part-time, flexible working really suits me as I can pick up work when I need to rather than have a structured 9 to 5 working day. You can let work fit around your family diary.”
As recruitment consultant Sam Kirk’s son Arlo goes to nursery on a Monday, she manages her working day to finish earlier so she can spend more time with him. She added: “Working from home also helps me out massively so that I’m not having to rush around in the morning dropping him off with his grandparents and then dashing off into Nottingham city centre.”
Lyndsey, a finance and accountancy divisional manager, enjoys being able to let her six-year-old son Harry play with his friends after school before getting back to her laptop. She added: “Flexible hours wouldn’t work at all if I didn’t have the trust of the company to be able to ensure the job gets done. They know I’ll do the job to the best of my ability in the hours that I am working.”
Being able to attend my child’s special events
In their conversations on the video, our mums were asked how they structured their working day, their stand-out moments with their children, any challenges they faced and whether their youngsters recognised that they had more time with them during the working week.
Our Leicester colleagues Jade Sheldon, Natalie Gear, Catherine Forrest and Bree Jameson - who share a WhatsApp group - told how they enjoyed being able to balance their working day with important events in their children’s lives, such as birthdays, parents’ evenings and school sports days.
Said Jade: “I can do the things I would have missed out on if I didn’t have flexible working. I take my daughter to karate twice a week and I love being able to see her grow and develop in activities like that.”
Major transformation in our working lives
As a result of the pandemic, SF Recruitment last year invested more than £250,000 in three new offices in Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham in a transformation plan which champions flexible working.
The aim was to allow employees to drop in and work at the locations at times to suit them. As part of a new package of working policies and employee benefits, our management team also became owners in the company and every employee was given a stake in future profits.
As our CEO Saira Demmer explained: "The pandemic accelerated the path to a new way of working, and we knew that a return to a traditional approach was not going to fit our new brand vision.
"We wanted to reflect the values that have made us a leader in our markets, including our agility, high performance culture and entrepreneurial approach to our work. The move has been a great success across our teams and I’m delighted to see in this video how much our working parents are reaping the rewards.”
Make your job as fulfilling as possible
Saira recently highlighted our approach during a live studio panel discussion about the issues of attracting and retaining talent, at an event organised by employee engagement specialist Best Companies. SF Recruitment was named third in the UK’s Best Small Companies to Work For category.
She said: “We allow our people to work wherever, whenever and however - in the office, at home, a mixture of both, or somewhere completely different because that’s what you need at that moment in your life. We want to ensure that their jobs are as fulfilling as possible for them.”
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