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A Day In The Life Of... Business Careers

A Day in the Life Of a Founder and CEO: Alex Bozhin

Being a leader in business can be a long and difficult road, especially if you are a founder and/or CEO of an organisation. However if you have the drive and determination, every day in the life of a Founder and CEO can be rewarding as Alex Bozhin shares with Find Your Flex.

Alex managed to build a fast-growing company in Postoplan; an automated marketing platform for social networks and messengers. Alex is proud that 95% of his team stayed with the company since the beginning. He developed not only an efficient company structure but also corporate standards that allow to onboard new employees being fully remote. He would now like to share his journey and experience so far, to help and inspire existing and aspiring business leaders.

What does a working day look like for a Founder & CEO?

My workday begins at 6-7am. This has already become a habit, so I don’t use an alarm. I always do my morning warm-up exercises, and then spend about two hours on strategic issues, such as plans, indices, goals. Then comes breakfast.

Between 9am and 2pm, I have meetings and calls with my team, partners and investors. I try to use these hours as effectively as possible, and I believe that things should always be discussed in person because that’s much more efficient than exchanging a hundred letters.

The hours between 2pm and 5pm are usually spent on less important projects, dealing with mail and managerial tasks. During this period, I also try to go for a short walk, have lunch and get some exercise. I leave work that requires the least mental effort for the evening, and use this time to plan my next day. I work more than eight hours a day, but try to keep a work-life balance, improving the effectiveness of my actions.

How do you find a work life balance?

I believe that dividing my workday in two helps me to preserve the work-life balance. I think that leisure time should be treated as a separate task that mustn’t be skipped. We may have plenty of internal resources and work for 16 hours straight, but such an approach has a negative impact on effectiveness. This is why I try to switch back and forth between work and leisure and spend my lunch with family.

Physical exercise also helps to reduce stress. I spent a lot of time fine tuning this balance, and things, obviously, change as time goes by. The company is growing, and that means the growth of both responsibility and obligations. On the weekends, I try to work no more than seven hours a day to avoid burnout. I cannot stop working on weekends altogether, because when your company has a monthly growth of 20%, you have to work hard to keep up. Nonetheless, I’m convinced that doing things outside of work is an important resource of energy.

Are there opportunities to progress?

Opportunities are always there. For me, opportunities are all about balance. I don’t work because I’m forced to, for me, it’s both a hobby and a part of my life. This is why I don’t have negative emotions when I work long hours. But it’s important to add that I’m finding points of growth not just in my work, but also in my personal interests and family.

What is the best part about being Founder & CEO?

The best thing is to receive positive feedback from clients and investors. When an investor writes to give you a positive evaluation and notes the company’s growth, for me that’s recognition of my professional expertise. When users say that we have the best user support, it’s important for me that I’m doing something big and that my efforts to make something better than others are recognized.

Is there a difficult part to your job?

The most difficult things are the mundane tasks, and that’s not just all the documents one has to deal with, but doing any kind of same-type tasks. I also believe that hiring new people is difficult. You are given a very short time to judge both the person’s level of expertise and their ability to fit in with the team and uphold the company’s values. We routinely reject those who have the necessary experience, but won’t fit in with the team. So, that’s difficult. But corporate values and team cohesion have greater importance to us.

If someone was considering a career in your area of expertise, what advice would you give to them?

Learn to build relationships with people. This is the key factor in any job and profession. It’s not difficult to learn new skills, but stepping up the career ladder depends on your ability to find common ground with people around you. Even experienced managers may have a hard time discerning a genius behind a standoffish person. Learning the art of communication requires more than just the ability to be easy-going and non-confrontational. You also have to learn to keep the promises given to the team, the company, and your superior. The market is huge, but having a reputation of reliable and easy-going employee will definitely help you in building your career.

Thank you to Alex for sharing his insights as a Founder and CEO with us!

We are delighted to gain these valuable insights about Alex’s personal journey as a Founder and CEO. We hope it benefits others who are wishing to start their own company or have reached the position of CEO or a similar leadership role.

To find out more about Alex and his organisation visit Postoplan’s site here.

If you would like to read about the Day in the Life of People in other roles, why not check out our post on the Day in the Life Of Dr Ranj?

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Business Flexible Working Future of work

Hybrid Working Is Not The Same As Flexible Working

As a lesser educated character on The Big Bang Theory once hypothesised… “All jacuzzi’s are hot tubs, but not all hot tubs are jacuzzi’s”. I’d like to apply this insight here with Hybrid Working and Flexible Working. Let’s not risk falling into that “4 Day Week” again. When it comes to flexible working there is no one size fits all solution.

Communicating Flexible Working

Flexible working and the policies which govern it, should be about how businesses are willing to communicate. Good communication should be embedded in an organisations values, culture and subsequent behaviours. We should view employees as individuals rather than an asset/fixed cost or number on the bottom line. It’s about allowing them to use their voice and us as business leaders, listening. To be ‘engaged’ our employees need to be heard. Therefore collaboration is key to ascertaining what can make our people productive members of a team. There needs to be the understanding that what works one week, can just as easily change in the next – for both parties. 

TRUE flexible working paves the way for a more diverse and inclusive workplace. The Output model is a tool we can use to make this happen.

Flexible Working and Output Based Models

Society and ethical businesses must move away from 1950’s work modalities. It is vital that we begin to look at all of our roles and functions as an output. This means to engage with candidates based on what they can deliver – not what they look like, what school they’ve come from, their gender or socio-economic background. If you can’t do that, you are in danger of not being accessible as an employer, as we march into the future of work today.

People are seeking flexible working opportunities in their thousands, and only 40% of them are parents. If the last 12 months have taught us nothing else, its how quickly life can change for the masses. For the individual it can be even quicker and occur more often.

The Future Of Work

We have got to learn lessons from the last 12 months. Businesses have got to move forward, with their eyes open and with a new way of thinking. Let’s embody the scientists who will lead us out of this mess that is Covid 19. This is our moment to be ingenious, intuitive, exciting and ground breaking. 

My team and I can see a future of work, that doesn’t leave anyone behind. One that we know is going to require some shifts in mindset and strong leadership. Furthermore we need to be looking a re-skilling those at risk of automation driven job loss. Additionally businesses need to engage with schools and represent their talent as role models for our children.

The narrative around flexible working has to change. There is only a single ‘one size fits all solution’. That is to embed in the values and culture of an organisation that flexible working is about open conversations regarding productivity and staff wellbeing.

Don’t Use Flexible Working And Hybrid Working Interchangeably

So we are asking employers not to replace their flexible working agenda’s with hybrid working. Hybrid working is one of many solutions. It is not the only solution.

#ChangeInOurLifetime

Categories
Business Careers Mental Health

Mental Health First Aiders in the Workplace

As it is Mental Health Awareness week, Find Your Flex wants to do its part in raising said awareness. We are calling on all organisations to prioritise having Mental Health First Aiders on site for their staff at all times. We wish to help Mind.org.uk spread the word on mental health and how as a society we can bring further awareness and support to this matter.

Why it is an employer’s Responsibility to Provide Mental Health First Aiders.

Thankfully, society is moving forward in recognising and supporting people’s mental health. Something that was more or less a taboo subject not that long ago. However, now that mental health is a top priority, we must take steps to support this. At present employers must have an onsite First Aider to deal with any physical issues that can occur. However, it is now just as important that businesses provide Mental Health First Aiders for their staff.

At all times there are people struggling with their mental health. Whether due to ongoing issues in this area or in response to some traumatic or stressful event. Employers cannot expect their output and quality of work to be of the highest standard during this time. Therefore ensuring the company has a trained Mental Health First Aider equipped to support people is just as much an investment as anything else. However, it is more of an obligation. Mental health issues can be just as damaging and debilitating as physical health issues. Therefore businesses have the obligation to keep their employees as safe as they can in this regard.

What is a Mental Health First Aider?

It is important for a Mental Health First Aider to set boundaries. Just as a physical First Aider is not a doctor, a Mental Health Frist Aider is not a psychologist. They are not there to diagnose people on their mental health. What they are first and foremost, is someone who will listen. A Mental Health First Aider is a good listener; understanding, empathetic and approachable. They are given tools to properly respond to certain situations regarding mental health. While they are not meant to provide diagnosis or ongoing support, they are shown how to recognise symptoms. And can advise seeking further professional help, or in severe cases report concerns to the appropriate manager.

Fundamentally, a Mental Health First Aider is there to provide reassurance, information and acknowledgment. Sometimes all a person needs is to talk to someone about the issue. In more serious circumstances a Mental Health First Aider is able to provide information to get the professional help they require. Mental Health First Aiders are often the first point of call for people who may not know they have a serious mental health issue and need professional help. Therefore it is imperative that we have more Mental Health First Aiders on the workforce in every sector. Just like with physical First Aiders, there are training courses to become a Mental Health First Aider. MHFA England are one such course providers, look here to find out more about becoming a Mental Health First Aider and what the role entails.

Mental Health and the Future of Working

As we head toward the future of work, we are claiming to be a more diverse and inclusive society. Organisations are also claiming that their working environment is diverse and inclusive. In order to prove this, having adequate Mental Health care is a must. We know now how important this is and it is vital that the proper support is in place for workers and even their families if need be. Businesses are taking the steps to accommodate mental health issues; flexible working, mental health days, stress related leave etc. This is the next step to ensuring people have the support they need personally and professionally in this area.

For companies that don’t have these support systems in place, that is no longer acceptable. The Future of Work is having the correct support for mental health in place. One day this could become a legal obligation rather than a moral or ethical one. It would look far better if businesses already have this in place when that day comes.

For a further look into what employers need to do to accommodate people, check out one of our other blogs on what changes employers need to make concerning neurodiverse people.

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Business Flexible Working Future of work

How Do We Develop The New Normal Of Work?

Placing people and their performance at the
heart of organisations in our new world of work.

It won’t have escaped your notice that we are gearing up for a return to ‘normal’ or the ‘new normal’ as it has been termed by some. Many are questioning if they will be returning to the office. Will they be offered a hybrid and be able to remain working form home? However a recent Yougov survey commissioned by PUSH, 40% of people suspect employers want them to return to the office as soon as possible, because they think their employees achieve less when working from home.

But what is this new normal?

Will it be better or worse than before? Have organisations learned and adapted or have they simply focused on surviving with the intent to return to normal practice? How many of us have preferred working from home? Those who had to take the responsibility of education at home may have had a different experience to those who didn’t. It’s clear we’ve all had a wide variety of experiences.

However we all feel about the changes imposed on us we can’t ignore the fact that change drives innovation. Or at least it should.

However a recent Yougov survey commissioned by PUSH, suggests that 36% of the working population think they will work nearly 100% of the time from the office once the pandemic is over. Yet, 35% of people felt they achieved more when working from home. 

We at The Find Your Flex Group believe that one size doesn’t fit all. The discussion of flexibility and productivity is best done as a mature conversation between employer and employee.

Under what circumstances will they be most productive? What measure can we put in place to ensure support, cooperation and collaboration?

PUSH founder, Cate Murden, suggests it’s a new form of presenteeism: belief that even with the proof we are willing and able to work from home, employers still feel the physical presence of an employee in the workplace equates to better and more valuable deliverables.

According to the 3,037 surveyed, 32% believed those who return to the office when asked are more likely to get promoted. That rises to 42% in the under 35s!

What about mental health?

Murden believes that mental health and wellbeing are being put on the backburner as new figures suggest we feel pressured to return to the office in spite of the fact we achieve more at home.

Murden advises companies to instead use lockdown as a baseline for learning how we can protect the fallout from a sudden return to work: 

“The numbers that came back from this survey were shocking, but not surprising. If nothing else, it shows that we are still a long way from placing people at the heart of the organisation and not just bottom lines. Why, if we know we are doing better from home, are we feeling pressured to go back into the office?

Overlooking old behaviours and not learning from the past 12 months will be the downfall of many companies. Over the course of the pandemic alone we have supported some of the largest household names, including Whitbread, Toyota, Urban Outfitters and Rightmove, as they prepare for the wave of mental health issues that come with the new era of work. It is these companies, the ones that have used this time to adapt and grow, that will succeed.”

Perhaps, when we talk about a ‘new normal’ maybe we need to look beyond how a company functions. Maybe we need to get to the heart of any organisation, it’s values and its people.

About PUSH

PUSH specialises in corporate wellness, mental health, leadership and professional development. Working with clients to create tailored solutions to the challenges felt by their teams. Having seen 15% YoY growth during the pandemic PUSH decided to commission and publish the Human Element Report outlining our views on the return to work.

Read the full report here: The Human Element Report

For more information on how PUSH can support you during lockdown and beyond, visit www.pushmindbody.com or contact cate@pushmindandbody.com

Categories
Business Careers

Flex From Day 1 Won’t Work, Here’s Why:

A fight for real change in Flexible Working, is about the long term. And if we lose sight of that by aiming for short term changes, then we are creating larger hurdles for ourselves down the road.

Katy Perry once sang ‘I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything’… which is a self awareness statement many of us will have felt over the last few years.

Standing up for what you believe in can be hard and rewarding and grey making and sleep depriving. But those who do it, lead us in new directions and drive the change we need for all of our futures.

Pushing the boundaries of the accepted is something I ask of my team on a day to day basis, we knew before the impact of Covid19 on work, just how hard our fight is – I cant say the ‘flexibility’ some of us have been rewarded with, has helped our cause…

Whilst many continue to see #FlexibleWorking as a female or mum based issue, we will never see change and whilst we applaud the CIPD #FlexFromDay1 campaign, in reality, the firms who say NO to #FlexibleWorkRequests at 6 months, are in no danger or pressure of changing their views from delivering the same verdict at Day 1.

So where does that leave us?

Well in my humble opinion, it leaves us with a rather large education piece to deliver.

Businesses need to share their best practice. Businesses need to share the trials and tribulations of their journeys to flexible working and the positive impact it has had on productivity and the bottom line. It is only by showcasing the positive impact on business, including profiling the men who work flexibly and highlighting the diversity of thought and people a flex work program can deliver, that we will finally get movement in this space.

We can’t be distracted by the ‘progressive’ #4dayweek tribe – delivering another cunning move to shut us up. A ready made excuse, for companies to not look at any other form of flexibility you may need, why would they if you already get to work 4 days a week?

We can’t just leave it to Mother Pukka and Joeli Brearly to fight for mums or Ian Dinwiddy and Han-Son Lee to fight for dads. We as a nation of workers need to be open about what we want and share with our employers HOW we can make it work.

A move to output based employment contracts?

We business leaders and owners need to find the skills to reward OUTPUT not HOURS when it comes to the relationships with our employees. We need to move away from the archaic work models of the 1950’s when only the ‘Man of the house’ was expected to work and that we are still fundamentally adhering too.

This is about the future of work (of which flexibility isn’t the only factor) and (un)fortunately its not politicians who can deliver this. The onus IS on us.

We need a reset. We need to learn. We need to want to change. And we need to do it.

If you can help our #CallForChange in working practices please do get in touch, we would love to share your journeys and the reasons why you want to see #changeinourlifetime.

Categories
Business Careers Lifestyle Parental

Is Career Coaching as Good as Therapy?

Most people hit a rough patch at a certain point in their lives and they feel lost, overwhelmed, and confused.

The pressure of such a slump additionally magnifies if you’re an entrepreneur who has to run a business and make tough decisions on a daily basis. No wonder that many business owners have too much on their plate, which leads to stress, anxiety, and depression.

A research study has shown that 72% of entrepreneurs are affected by mental health issues directly or indirectly.

But, regular employees also have their fair share of stress resulting from work. A highly competitive workplace paired with increased expectations

If we add a kid or two to this entire equation, it’s perfectly clear that working mothers and mompreneurs have an even greater deal of workload, stress, and pressure to handle. Moreover, if growing pains of your business and your kids coincide, you’ll most probably end up exhausted and completely drained.

One way out of this is seeking professional help, but it can be a bit confusing when it comes to choosing between career coaching and therapy.

That’s why it’s important to discuss the benefits of these two approaches and establish which one can do the trick.

Career Coaching vs Therapy?

The thing is that, although similar and partially overlapping, these two fields are intrinsically different. It’s true that your career represents a big part of your life, and as such has the power to affect your mental health to a great extent. 

In other words, you might even consider taking up both a career coach and a therapist to work on different aspects of your personal and professional life.

The main distinction between career coaching and therapy lies in the fact that the former helps you manage your career and its challenges regardless of how deep it tackles the issue. On the other hand, the main goal of therapy is to improve your mental health and resolve some underlying issues that have been bothering you.

Also, while therapy might take years, as it’s essential to unearth and uncover some hidden negative thought patterns, career coaching can be time-limited and focused on practical work. A career coach can help you develop the necessary skills for job search, learn more about your strengths, and deal with workplace issues.

Benefits of Career Coaching

Now that we’ve established that you can greatly benefit from both career coaching and therapy, let’s examine what individual advantages of both approaches are.

  • Career coaching will help you recognize your own professional value. This can be pretty challenging, as people sometimes aren’t sure what their actual professional worth is, especially after losing their job or having been rejected after numerous job interviews. Similarly, going back to work after maternity leave can be more difficult than people imagine. Maybe the company you work for underwent some changes while you were away, not to mention that many new moms feel anxiety over what they are returning to. Career coaching will offer you an insight into what your particular skill sets and abilities are, and help you articulate them properly while negotiating a job or salary. Also, with proper coaching, you’ll learn how to leave your fears aside and focus your energy on your job and caring for your baby.
  • With career coaching, it will be much easier to overcome the difficulties of a change or make some big decisions. For example, if you’re wondering whether it’s the right time to quit your 9-to-5 job and embark on an entrepreneurial journey, a career coach will point you in the right direction.
  • One of the most important purposes of career coaching is to keep you accountable and motivated, as well as to push you to reach your full potential. Your career coach will monitor your progress towards reaching your goals, keep things in check, and make sure that you’re following your plan. This way, the likelihood of straying from your career path is minimized.
  • It’s essential to make the right career choices and pick what’s best for you in the long term, and a career coach will take both your personality, professional skills, and wishes into consideration when helping you navigate the workplace landscape and your own career path.

Benefits of Therapy 

Even if you’re not facing some life-altering challenges or traumatic events, the truth is that all of us could use a little help and support when it comes to coping with everyday stress and everything that life throws at us.

Research studies have shown that even the act of verbalizing your feelings can have a therapeutic effect on your brain. The power of this simple tactic is multiplied if you’re talking to a professional who is trained to listen to your story and help you articulate, channel, and manage your feelings.

Sometimes our own personal issues prevent us from succeeding, which means that it’s essential to fix them before you can see any career improvement.

Therapy can be highly beneficial for some of the following workplace situations:

  • Help you cope with workplace-related stress and anxiety. If you feel that you’re headed for burnout or that your current job situation is making you feel miserable, it’s a good idea to talk to a therapist and see what you can do to improve it.
  • Asking for a raise. Although a career coach can be instrumental in helping you get the best deal, a therapist can work from another, deeper level, and remove certain mental barriers that prevent you from talking to your boss. If you’re too shy or can’t accept rejection, therapy is essential, while you can figure out the right script and other details with a career coach.
  • Dealing with an office bully. Not everyone can confront a toxic person without getting upset. Therapy can help you build a defense mechanism and muster up the courage to have your say clearly and loudly.
  • Improve your self-esteem. All the issues mentioned above stem from the lack of self-esteem. By understanding your own feelings bringing out your insecurities out in the light, you can work towards becoming more confident in yourself. This is particularly effective if you’ve lost confidence over your work performance and skills – which is nothing strange if you are away for a while on maternity leave. If you start drowning in self-doubt, you should remember that it’s probably just your hormones and fatigue speaking, and therapy will help you learn coping and relaxation mechanisms.

So, Is Career Coaching as Good as Therapy? 

It’s better to ask yourself which one of these two professionals you should hire in order to improve your life.

You might even decide that working with both will help you grow personally and professionally.

What’s the most important factor is, however, finding a career coach who’s keeping pace with the latest trends in psychology and the workplace. That should be a person who’s capable of guiding you towards becoming the best version of yourself.

Here’s what you should pay attention when choosing a career coach: 

  • Do they belong to a coaching organization? This will prove that they meet certain standards of the profession.
  • Ask them for their resume or professional biography, so that you can check whether the program they completed in order to obtain a certificate is legitimate.
  • Even if a certain career coach has a license to practice psychotherapy, it’s better to find some other practitioner to treat your potential mental health issues. It should be stressed that these two approaches work great in conjunction – just make sure to distinguish your sessions and work on your mental/business goals separately.
  • Ask for client references. You should talk to some of the people they worked with and understand why their approach is effective. In a nutshell, it’s not enough to simply read testimonials on the site.
  • Discuss their coaching philosophy. As career coaching, just like therapy, is a delicate matter, it’s essential to find someone whose values and philosophy are aligned with yours.

It’s safe to say that career coaching is as good as therapy, but by no means can we say that these two practices can be used interchangeably, or that one can be used instead of the other. Depending on what you want to work on and improve, you can choose either career coaching or therapy, but these two also form a powerful synergy.

Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.

Categories
Business Flexible Working Industry Flexers

We Found Our Flex …By Creating And Championing A Flexible Working Culture

Flexible and remote working. A guest blog from the team at RedWizard – Project, Change & Transformation Experts.

RedWizard And Flex

At RedWizard, we’re not just a team, we’re a strong community of remote and flexible workers. And we believe flexible working should be a basic human right. Why? Because, for the majority of people, it improves their overall health and wellbeing. It’s been proven to reduce stress and increase job satisfaction. Time spent on trains and buses can now be spent with family and friends. There’s more time for exercise, mindful meditation and preparing healthy food. It also means avoiding toxins like exhaust fumes when commuting. Not only that, it’s a cost-cutter with fewer travel expenses and work clothes required… and the list goes on! 

Flexible—It’s Not Just A Word, It’s One Of Our Core Values.

Being flexible is one of our core values–along with being bold, loyal, warm and quirky—they make us who we are and help us to create the future we want to experience. So, we’ve said goodbye to 9-5 and hello to a flexible future!

Control? We Hand It Over And Trust 

Our approach to creating a flexible working culture is to trust our people and hand over control. We focus on what’s being delivered—the outcome. How our people get there is completely up to them. We hire them to do a job, we give them control and don’t micromanage—in other words, we TRUST them! 

By taking this approach, the entire RedWizard community is driven, productive, innovative, passionate about their own work, and inspired by our collective vision and purpose-led mission. Challenges change and change challenges Implementing real flexibility and remote working has its challenges. But… like all businesses, we were born to change! And we take a very human approach. From technology to health and wellbeing, we work together to ensure the entire RedWizard community gets the support they need and remains connected. We do this by keeping pace with new technology and running weekly ‘Good to Connect’ meetings–giving everyone a chance to open up and share if they wish. We listen and care about each other. There’s always someone available for an online chat and a cuppa!

Benefits? You Bet… For Us And Our Clients

Our flexible culture has had a positive impact on the services we provide our clients and our own internal processes, functions and working lives. And having the ability to work in a way that’s right for us—on an individual basis—means we’ve time to live our lives in a meaningful way. We’re more creative, innovative and far more productive as a result. 

What Does It Mean For Our Clients?

Because we all work remotely our overhead is low. This means we can pass the savings on to our clients and remain competitive in the marketplace—making us small, but mighty. With a clear and proven methodology, which we call our Big Four—people, communications, insight, agility—we’re able to accommodate global working across different time zones, we just take time off during the day. 

Our business has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, and we believe our approach to remote and flexible working has played a major role. It’s enabled us to attract some exceptional talent—people who share our values and recognise the benefits of flexible and remote working. As a result, our numbers are growing, we’ve more interest in our services. And we’ve even been shortlisted for the Project Management Institute (PMI) UK National Project Awards, in the category of ‘PMO of the Year’. It’s an exciting time for us all. 

Hey, It Works For Us!

Flexible and remote working is a hot topic at the moment, and opinions across industries are uniting and dividing. Some say it’s great for health and wellbeing, others say it’s harmful. Some say it increases productivity, others say it’s too distracting. Whatever you want to believe, you’re bound to find something on the internet to back up your argument—although it may not always be supported by evidence! 

But… 

We can say with confidence, flexible and remote working has worked for us, is working for us, and will continue to work for us. We believe it’s the future—and should be a basic human right. We’ve more on this topic If you found our approach to flexible and remote working of interest, you may find some of our other articles on this subject of interest too. So please, join the conversation, visit our blog and feel free to like and share any of our articles.

Video: Hear how flexible and remote working impacts RedWizard’s founder and CEO, and online community.

RedWizard Your community of project, change and transformation experts.

Think of us as your very own project, change or transformation management office with decades of experience. We’ll help you identify the right support model for your business and help you evolve that model as your business changes. Our story

Red Wizard Consulting Logo, flexible and remote working supporters

Want to read more about the companies who are flying the flag for flexible working? Check these out…

Hilti – Helping You Find Your Flex

Royal London – Helping You Find Your Flex

Badenoch + Clark – The Rise Of The Flex Working, Flex Supporting Rec Cons

A HR Journey With Pitney Bowes

Categories
Business Careers Flexible Working

What Is Flexible Working?

The issue with answering this question is that flexible working means different things for different people. So many terms can describe types of flexible working and what works for one person could be totally off the table for another. 

However we will attempt to summarise ‘What Is Flexible Working’. 

Essentially it is a work pattern that accommodates the needs of the employee whilst maintaining the business needs of the company. It is a symbiotic relationship. You cannot have one without the other.

It can fall into a few different categories often with different names. The Find Your Flex Group use the 6 pillars.

The Six Pillars Of Flexible Working

  • FT Flexi Start & Finish TImes
  • Part Time
  • Remote Working
  • Compressed Hours
  • Job Share
  • Term Time Only

Flexi Start and Finish Times

Employees work allocated hours but can choose at what time to start and what time to finish. Many businesses make this work by having core hours that everyone has to be in for.

Part Time

Part time hours for those who can’t or don’t want to work full time. For this group of people it’s really important that are considered as important as their full time counterparts. Many part timers are just as ambitious as full timers.

Remote Working

Working in a location other than the main office. It could be at home or in a shared working environment.

Compressed Hours

Working an allocated number of hours across a compressed time period. For example full time over 4 days. Conversely, some may wish to work part time hours but over 5 days for example. Some employers choose to have a core day for meetings that everyone must be in for.

Job Share

A role that has the requirement for full time hours is split between 2 employees. It could be a 50:50 split or an alternative split such as 75:25.

Term Time Only

The required weekly / monthly hours are only worked during term time. Allowing parents to manage school holidays without the need to rely on paid help or favours.

There are so many benefits to facilitating these patterns of work. To read more, why not download our Tips To Implementing Flexible Working.

Flexible working is more frequently in the news today with campaigners such as Helen Whately, Joeli Braerly and Anna Whitehouse. In our next post we discuss the current state and future of flexible working.

Perhaps you are ready to #SignUpToFlex… Contact us today.

Categories
Business Flexible Working Industry Flexers Parental

Hilti, helping you Find|Your|Flex

Having worked in HR for over 15 years, I have seen a growing demand for employers to provide more flexible working practices. Employees want increasing flexibility for a variety of rea-sons and need different types of flexibility throughout their working lives. Many employers are keen to support this, however, often limit themselves to the statutory legal provisions and view flexibility in a very narrow way.

Flexible working options should not be limited to part-time working, it’s about considering the variety of choices employees need at different life stages and offering something for everyone. A well designed flexible working offering can make a significant difference to employee engagement and retention.

As Head of HRBP’s at Hilti, I’m part of a team that are striving to build a working environment and culture that stands-out amongst our peers as a ‘Great Place to Work’. Offering an outstanding flexible working approach is an important part of differentiating our culture. It also presents an opportunity to retain our fantastic workforce in a buoyant labour marker and to attract new talent to our organisation.

Prior to launching our new approach to flexible working in summer 2017, our policies were over-complicated and confusing. Applications for flexible working were low and only 3% of our workforce in GB worked in an altered way to their original contract. This was at odds with clear demand, evident through our employee engagement survey, that our people wanted more help to balance the demands between work and home life. Improving and simplifying our approach to flexible working provided an obvious solution to this gap.

Our new flexible working approach set out to simplify what we offered and identify new opportunities to expand our policy. The new options addressed the gaps in our existing approach. We introduced the right to request a sabbatical or career break of up to 12 months whilst pre-serving the contract and added the right to purchase an additional five days annual leave and to take one days’ paid emergency leave annually for unexpected personal situations.

Our family friendly provisions were already generous with 18 weeks fully paid for maternity leave and two months’ salary paid as a return to work bonus. But we wanted to do more for our dads, so increased paternity pay to two weeks at full pay and equalized pay arrangements in Shared Parental Leave.

To make sure our employees were made aware of their new offering we ran an internal campaign using the #Hiltiinmylife as we felt this perfectly reflected how we wanted our employees to balance their Hilti role with their lives.

This included a video message from our Northern Europe Region Head, to endorse his personal commitment to flexible working at Hilti, as well as some video case studies from team members who already enjoyed flexible working practices.

Flexible working at Hilti

Following the launch in July 2017, we received more applications in two months than the total received in the previous two years. And our journey didn’t end there – we have since introduced home working for suitable Head Office roles, offer a day’s leave for our team members who are moving house or getting married and also now offer up to three days’ paid leave for fertility treatment .

In 2019, we have also taken the next step to add more flexibility to our field-based sales roles by designing a role that can be done on a part-time basis without compromising customer relationships or making it harder to hit target. We truly believe that by embracing flexible working in all its forms, we will have highly engaged teams who will want to stay and be part of our ‘Great Place to Work’.

Kim Kerr

Head of HR Business Partnering

Hilti Great Britain

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Business Careers Flexible Working Industry Flexers

Royal London helping you #FindYourFlex

“A career here doesn’t have to be to strive for CEO, you can go up, down and sideways if you wish. There are always opportunities. – Nicola Piercewright

“I have developed in every way possible. I am not the shy person I was. My confidence has been built up because of all the trust and support you get with senior leaders.” – Ellen Gibbon

Our customers and members matter to us, we work to please their needs, they are at the centre of everything we do.

This exceptional feedback comes from the brilliant work our Operations team do day in day out:

You are made to feel valued and in this day and age that is very rare. I hope they keep these values and traditions going for many years to come.”

Our award-winning customer service and our mutuality means we can give customers that little bit more, and you can trust us to be there for you when it counts.

People have been at the heart of all that is great about Royal London for more than 150 years and we are looking to maintain this with by adding Customer Service Consultants to our team in Wilmslow.

We have a range of full-time (35 hours) and part-time (minimum 18 hours) roles available between Monday to Friday 08.00 – 18.00 and we are open to discussing working patterns that work for you.

We asked of current Customer Service Consultants why they love working and Royal London and they were more than happy to share their views.

“The opportunities to grow, develop and further your career from starting in customer services are massive and development is a huge focus of Royal London.” – Leighanne Dixon

“The best part of my job is working in a fantastic team of people and helping our customers.”  – Joshua Dewitt

We asked Nicola Piercewright some further questions on her career with us

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Giving our customers the best possible experience and helping them to help themselves with regards to their financial decisions. I know I am making a difference.

How have you developed since joining?

My journey has been long (I have been here 19 years!) at Royal London and my priorities over the years have changed, but if I can come in to work (even Part-time) and make a difference then that’s development right there. I develop each and every day here….from change in legislation and knowing what is required, change in management, from Team managers to CEO. I believe I have developed into a well-rounded person willing to live the values Royal London requires; Empowerment, Trustworthy, Collaborate, and Achieve.

Would you recommend your division to others?

Yes most definitely. Why, because you are valued here, if you come with the right attitude to provide excellent customer service and bring an open mind to enable change for the better then you will have a happy career here. And a career here doesn’t have to be to strive for CEO you can go up, down and sideways if you wish. There are always opportunities.

Our customers are diverse and to continually meet their needs we are looking for people from all backgrounds to join us, bring new thinking, challenge ours and add value daily.

So regardless what sector you have operated in, we want to discuss aligning our expertise and your passion.

Join us here – https://jobs.findyourflex.co.uk/clients/royal-london