Working from home and remote working

It might be possible to do some, or all, of the work from home or anywhere else other than the normal place of work.

Stuart Anderson

Stuart Anderson

Senior Risk Manager

Employer: Royal Bank Scotland
Sector: Finance

Working from home and remote working

“I work Mon – Thurs – 7am – 5pm – a combination of working on-site and at home. I decided to work flexibly to spend more time with my young children, reduce childcare / travel costs and to rethink my approach to work/personal life. The benefits of this working pattern are being able to be part of taking and picking up my children to nursery and school.

These are special moments and the child you interact with in the morning / afternoon versus the one when you arrive home late from work can be very different. Fun Friday’s in our house are always a hit.

The ability to work from home when your day doesn’t merit a trip into the office is extremely helpful in helping you be more efficient, reducing the stress of public transport and giving you some more time back in the evening. The challenge I’ve had with this working pattern is rethinking how I plan my working week. I’ve had to beef up my prioritisation skills to ensure I make the most of my 4 days in the office. Equally, disciplining myself to switch off on a Friday and focus my energy on my time with my children.

My employer/line manager has supported me by firstly embracing the idea and allowing me to demonstrate that it would not have any detrimental impact on my performance. It’s had the opposite effect as I now feel like I am more productive and happier when I am at work as I’m not making any significant trade offs at home to further my career.”

Vivien Kelly

Vivien Kelly

Language Consultant

Employer: True & Good
Sector: Marketing

Working from home and remote working Staggered hours

“Being offered this kind of flexibility has meant that I am able to be part of the workforce and still meet some of my caring responsibilities. This is very important to me – intellectually, emotionally and financially.

In offering flexible working, companies can cheaply access an experienced and enthusiastic talent pool. There are millions of people who are unable to commit to a conventional, full-time job, and yet who are skilled, experienced and keen to work. Companies who can offer them employment will build a loyal, productive, efficient and diverse workforce. We know that there is a positive, measurable correlation between teams who embrace cognitive diversity and teams who exhibit high performance levels.

The successful company of the future will clearly be a company with a wide range of working patterns worked by a wide range of individuals.”

Rik Holden

Rik Holden

Relationship Director

Employer: Royal Bank Scotland
Sector: Finance

Working from home and remote working

“I work from home Mon-Fri. This allows me to take my 2 children to school most mornings, and saves money on childcare. It also means I spend more time with my children and save money. It can be tricky sometimes managing meetings with customers when I have to leave early in the morning because of long driving times. My line manager has given me the flexibility to get on with the job, essentially. He has a fairly light touch approach, which suits me perfectly. It isn’t for everyone, being alone so long, but I would definitely recommend it to others to consider it if they can stomach their own company for 8 hours!”

Robert Oldham

Robert Oldham

Specialist HR Adviser

Employer: Royal Bank Scotland
Sector: Finance

Working from home and remote working Part time

“I currently work 28 hours a week over 4 days (having a Wednesday off as a rest mid-week). I have flexibility in my role so can do 2 days working from home and 2 days in the office but generally do 3 days in the office and 1 from home I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and find a full 35 hour week exhausting to the extent that I can’t enjoy family time at the weekend. A little over 4 years ago I made the decision to reduce my hours to give me a break during the week. This has given me my weekends back and I’m so glad that I made the decision.

The benefits are easy – more energy to enjoy the weekend and the business has benefitted to, as I am able to bring the best of myself on the days when I’m working. If I am not feeling great on any day, I have the flexibility to work from home to avoid the commute.

In all honesty the biggest challenge is coming into a fuller inbox in the morning after my day off – sometimes it can feel like you’ve been on holiday. Inevitably you will miss some meetings or updates on your day off but with modern technology it’s easy to get back up to speed.

My line manager has been very supportive and fully supports flexible working. A number of people in my team work different patterns, from part time to compressed working weeks. The bank is also very supportive of different ways of working and has embraced working from home and flexible working spaces such as hub-sites and areas where you can book a desk in a different location to your main site. We have a weekly team meeting on a Thursday so everyone attends that and flexes their work week around that day.”

Peter

Peter

Head of Global Mobility

Employer: Compass Group PLC
Sector: Food Services & Hospitality

Working from home and remote working Staggered hours

“My wife works full time and has little flexibility during work hours. I start in the office early and finish early in order that I can get home at a reasonable time to help with after school activities for our children.

I also work one day a week from home so that I can be available to pick up from school and get the children fed before they have to go on to other activities so that my wife can have at least one day working later at work if required.

This flexibility in my working arrangements is a great help to our family; cutting back on commuting time and costs, plus the environmental benefit of less mileage means it positively impacts both my engagement with the business, but also my overall feeling of wellbeing.

Performance in the business is not measured by hours in the office so such flexible arrangements are in no way a barrier to success.”

Mitch (Michele Oliver)

Mitch (Michele Oliver)

Global Marketing & Purpose VP

Employer: Mars Incorporated
Sector: Food and Beverages

Flexitime Working from home and remote working Part time

“The flexibility of working from home during the hours that work for me makes an enormous difference to my life and my family. Prior to this role I worked 3 days a week for 7 years after my son Albie was born, in roles spanning global marketing and UK Strategy – delivering value to Mars and enabling me to be the parent and partner that I wanted to be. I was promoted in that time which is a true testament to Mars’ support for talent and not work patterns!

Immediately before this role I was Marketing VP for the UK with a team of 70 and on the UK Board – I worked 4 days a week as the business focuses on quality of output not hours of input. To this day I maintain that my one day off made me significantly better equipped to deliver my role – giving me space and perspective to rise above the busy-ness that comes with these roles and focus on what really matters. I am a passionate advocate of flexible working and valuing the work delivered rather than the hours worked.”

Mike Rankine

Mike Rankine

Business Manager to Head of Transaction Banking

Employer: Royal Bank Scotland
Sector: Finance

Flexitime Working from home and remote working

“I work standard office hours throughout the week, in London Monday to Wednesday and from home Thursday & Friday. I have a daughter from a previous relationship and look after her 50% of the time; working from home two days a week allows me to take her to and from school on those days.

Quite simply, this working pattern allows me to support a 50% shared custody of my daughter. If I couldn’t have worked flexibly this wouldn’t be possible and I would see her far less. I also now have a 1-year old son and flexible working has allowed me to spend more time with him as I am home much earlier without a 90-minute commute
It can be challenging when face-to-face meetings are organised on my home working days, but I can usually move things around with enough notice. Having fixed days from home at the end of the week does also often mean missing out on office social occasions!

My employer and various line managers have been very supportive. From an employer point of view, we increasingly have new technologies to support home working, such as Zoom video conferencing that allows people to join meetings F2F from wherever they are. My line managers have always been very understanding and have helped me to manage time effectively so that not being in the office is not a disadvantage in any way.

I previously worked a different pattern that varied week-to-week whereby I would work longer hours in the office in London and then school hours from home. Sometimes it was 3 in London, 2 from home, others it was 4 in London with 1 from home and also 2 in London, 3 from home. Because this varied it was difficult to ever explain to anyone what my working pattern was, but I always ensured my work diary reflected where I would be and when I was available. With effective and efficient time management, you can make just about any pattern work.”

Michael Tunde Cockshott

Michael Tunde Cockshott

UX manager

Employer: Royal Bank Scotland
Sector: Finance

Working from home and remote working

“My work is based in the RBS headquarters on the outside of Edinburgh at Gogarburn. I live in the southside of Glasgow. I work 3 days a week in the Edinburgh office and two from home. My commute to work can be between 3 and 4 hours a day. This means I am not in at the start and end of my daughter’s school day. My 17 year old daughter has special needs and at the start and ends of the day she needs a lot of support. I need to be home when she returns from after school the days my wife works late. She needs full-time care and the days I am not commuting I dress, feed her and get her ready for school and cook her evening meal and feed and get her ready for bed. The days I am working, my wife has to do all the start of the day caring and I get in towards the end of my daughter’s day.

This arrangement allows me and my wife to share the caring, and gives me more time with my daughter and son.

I have not really experienced any significant challenges; most of my work is on the phone with others in other offices and even when I am working with Edinburgh staff we often meet via the phone or video conferencing.

My line manager has been very supportive and understanding of my situation, for example she supports me when I have to attend clinics with my daughter or all agency meetings about her future. She goes beyond just support and enquires as to how my daughter is – I feel she and my employer genuinely care about having an inclusive workforce and supporting those that are carers.”

Lukas Glynn

Lukas Glynn

PMO Analyst

Employer: Royal Bank Scotland
Sector: Finance

Flexitime Working from home and remote working

“I’ve been flexi-working at RBS since 2018. I normally work from home 2 days a week and spend the other three in the office. I take our 6-year old boy to school in the mornings – it feels good to be involved. My wife works compressed hours 4 days a week, so she takes Friday off to be with our son. When work demands it, there are times when you need to help each other out, but generally this works well for us.

Working from home is a big help in sharing the burden of childcare, especially when you can’t rely on a wider support network. Flexi-working is inclusive as everyone has different circumstances – it’s not a one-size-fits-all thing but is there when you need it. And it also saves money on travel, avoids stressful commutes, and improves my general wellbeing and productivity, which is great!.

RBS’ technology, as well as understanding line management, helps you feel connected with the wider team.”

Louise Byrne

Louise Byrne

Vice President of Global Talent

Employer: InterContinental Hotels Group
Sector: Hospitality

Working from home and remote working Part time

“Since having my children, I’ve always worked part-time – at first this was 3 days a week, then when they started school I did 5 days around school hours and now it’s 4 with one of these days from home. My partner works in a demanding role with a longer commute meaning it’s hard for him to be able to share the childcare responsibilities. Having this flexibility has enabled me to be there for my boys at key times, to do pick up and drop off at school and have playdates. It’s also enabled me to focus on passions that I have – running, playing tennis, cooking, renovating the house….I feel I can be the mum, partner and friend that I want to be.

 My team are based all over the world – Shanghai, Atlanta, Singapore, Bangkok, London. So whether I’m in the office on skype or at home makes little difference. I’m proud that we’ve been able to offer flexibility throughout the team with 30% of my leadership team working less than 5 day week and all colleagues having the opportunity to flex where and when they work. Being open-minded about hours and location of roles has enabled me to attract and retain top talent that if we’d been more rigid, we wouldn’t have access to.

Working for a company (and a boss) who values output and not input is key – having trust, strong relationships and being willing to be flexible on both sides is critical. Whilst I’ve been part-time I’ve been promoted and my role keeps getting expanded – IHG has never seen my flexible working as a barrier to career progression.”

Katie Lyle

Katie Lyle

Design Coordinator

Employer: Willmott Dixon
Sector: Construction

Working from home and remote working Part time

“The flexi-working initiative at Willmott Dixon has enabled me to start and finish work earlier whilst condensing my hours. This means that I’m able to spend Mondays and more time in the evenings with my two year old daughter. Having the option to adjust my hours to better suit my home life has allowed me to stay working full-time – something that I previously wasn’t sure would be possible after having children. I am extremely grateful for this as it breaks down many of the obstacles that can present themselves when you’re a full-time working mum.

I believe that the open and fair culture at Willmott Dixon sets a great example to the rest of the industry. Whilst I’ve already seen an increase in numbers, I would like to see more men working flexibly so that they don’t miss out on family time and also to improve the equilibrium when it comes to childcare and household duties. Striving towards a better work-life balance for everyone will undoubtedly play a part in keeping people happy, motivated and healthy.”

Kate Bassett

Kate Bassett

Head of Content

Employer: Management Today
Sector: Publishing

Working from home and remote working Part time

“As Management Today’s head of content, I spend 2.5 days a week directing our editorial strategy, writing features, and heading up the brand’s main annual campaigns ranging from 35 Women Under 35 to Britain’s Most Admired Companies. I also chair and co-produce Management Today’s Inspiring Women in Business and Young Women in Business conferences. I work flexibly – either from Haymarket’s HQ in Twickenham or from home.

Alongside my job at Management Today, I’m a freelance writer and am frequently invited to host business events up and down the country. This flexible, “”multi-hyphen career”” gives me the freedom to juggle lots of different projects and spend quality time with our two little girls, India and Edith.”

Karen Sayers

Karen Sayers

Employer: Barclays
Sector: Finance

Working from home and remote working

Cutting out the commute makes me a lot more productive: I can get some extra sleep, which is great for my health and concentration, and I can work longer into the evening as I don’t have to rush off and get the train.

Joe Maher

Joe Maher

Talent Acquisition Manager

Employer: IHG Europe
Sector: Hospitality

Working from home and remote working Part time

“I am fortunate that IHG recognises the positive impact that flexible working can have on an employee’s performance & loyalty and definitely feel since moving to flexible working my performance has increased.

In my role as Talent Acquisition Manager I speak with people across the globe, often undertaking skype meetings at strange hours in the morning to accommodate the diaries of potential talent. What is great is that IHG recognises this and allows me the flexibility to get my time back.

I work 4 days a week with the flexibility of being able to work from home when needed which allows me to use weekends and any free time to focus on my second career as a professional Showjumper (equestrian). During the summer months I am often competing and travelling with the horses for 3 or 4 days at a time however by being very diligent with diary management and utilising all of the great technology made available by IHG (skype, Webex) I am still able to keep up to date and top of my job.

In summary flexible working means I am more focused, energised and passionate about my role which means in turn I am able to genuinely represent IHG positively in the market to attract talent.”

Joanne Austin

Joanne Austin

Financial Crime Risk Assurance Manager

Employer: HSBC UK
Sector: Finance

Flexitime Working from home and remote working Compressed hours

“I care for five of my closest family members aged between 19 and 79 and who all have different disabilities/illness and needs. My caring role involves facilitating appointments, managing all of my families’ affairs, providing emotional support, dealing with education and healthcare providers and supporting with personal care.

I work a nine-day condensed fortnight which basically means I fit two weeks’ worth of hours into nine days and have a day off once a fortnight. In addition, when appointments arise I sometimes
start early in the morning, take the required break during the day and then work late. I also work from home up to three days a week which makes a considerable positive difference to my well-being.

There are two main reasons why I work from home – it enables me to juggle appointments as my travelling time is minimised by being at home and it also helps me to manage my epilepsy by ensuring I get enough sleep.

Flexible working has its benefits from a work perspective too. I sometimes work with colleagues based in other jurisdictions so I can have calls with them at what would traditionally be classed as unsociable hours. It also enables me to work at quieter times of day and get more done.

I am very grateful for the support I receive from HSBC UK. They provide me with the opportunity to pursue a career together by working flexibly to provide the care and support required by my family. My team are very supportive, there’s always someone to have a coffee and a chat with and to make me laugh, even when things are really difficult. My line manager is equally supportive helping me to manage my workload, giving me a different perspective of things and just being there when I need him. Working at HSBC UK has made a huge difference to my wellbeing and that of my family.”

Jack Lamacraft

Jack Lamacraft

Managing Director

Employer: The Park London
Sector: Marketing

Working from home and remote working Staggered hours

“I start early and finish early, work remotely and work from home one day a week. This allows me to pick my daughter up from nursery every evening. On the day I work from home I take her in a little later and pick her up earlier.

We have collaboration hours between 10am and 4pm – try not to schedule any meetings outside of those hours, our clients know this and respect it (where possible).

It’s important that as a Director the other staff see that this is something we’re genuine about, it’s not just words on a page.

People are measured on output, not the amount of hours they spend sitting at a desk (we had one project manager working with us who was based in Southampton).”

Helen Chadwick

Helen Chadwick

Business Partner

Employer: Kantar
Sector: Professional Services

Flexitime Working from home and remote working

“A year ago my manager presented me with an opportunity to take on a promotion, the role of Business Partner, primarily based in our London head office some distance from my home in the North West.

A key consideration for me at the time was how to keep a balance between home and work life, but also ensure that I could give everything to the role, with the additional travel commitments.

I have been working in this role for 8 months now and absolutely find that I can balance work and home life quite comfortably. The use of Skype video for business on my home-working days, ensures that I can be ‘present’ in every meeting, and continue to build strong relationships from a distance.

Without the opportunity to work flexibly, I wouldn’t have been able to progress within the company without considering a relocation.”

Elizabeth Bailey

Elizabeth Bailey

Employer: Barclays
Sector: Finance

Working from home and remote working

“I’ve been extremely impressed at Barclays’ approach and commitment to Dynamic Working, and in return it’s meant I’m highly motivated and committed to Barclays for the long term.”

Catherine Chapman

Catherine Chapman

Legal Assessor & Trainer

Employer: CILEx Law School
Sector: Education (Legal)

Flexitime Working from home and remote working Part time

“I requested a four day working pattern – Monday to Thursday – which my employer agreed to, in line with their flexible working policy. I’m also home-based, as are most of my team colleagues, because we are located all over England. The nature of our work means that we can do our jobs effectively with just a laptop and phone. We have monthly team Skype calls and quarterly meetings at our head office or regional locations, which is a good opportunity to catch up.

Although my job entails frequent visits to clients, I manage my own diary, so I can schedule visits to avoid rush hour. This makes for less stressful travelling, cheaper off-peak fares (a saving for my employer!) and just as important – I can often be back home in time for when my youngest son returns from school. I also value the fact that when I am at home, I can fit in some domestic chores, and am much more efficient in getting things done, as there are fewer distractions, i.e. no one to chat to in the office!

I probably wouldn’t have chosen to work from home if I was younger and at the start of my career, because of the lack of social interaction, but now that my children are teenagers, this pattern suits me and our family life very well.”

Ben Shaw

Ben Shaw

Head of Industry

Employer: BB&Talk, Sky plc
Sector: Media & Entertainment/Creative

Flexitime Working from home and remote working

“I have been flexi-working since joining Sky in 2010. I normally work from home three days a week and spend the other two in Sky, I have two young children and working from home means I can walk my daughter to school in the morning and give my wife some much needed relief from the kids. She can go out and leave my young son with me or I can do the school pick up.”

Andrea Mulligan

Andrea Mulligan

Director New Business

Employer: R/GA London
Sector: Advertising, Marketing, Communications

Working from home and remote working

“I joined R/GA, a digital innovation agency based in London, last year through a returnship initiative co-founded by the agency’s HR Director, Liz Nottingham. The question of flexibility was discussed very openly during the interview process and on my suggestion, I started off working four days in the office and one half day from home with the flexibility to amend this pattern after an initial settling-in period.

My feeling on flexibility has always been that one size definitely doesn’t fit all. The different working patterns of the parents at my agency reflect this. In my view it takes time to find a pattern that works based upon the role, team, cadence of the working week and of course childcare commitments.

I am hugely fortunate in that my husband often works from home and so is able to do school drop-offs and pick-ups certain days of a week. Childcare is very much a shared responsibility for us and the flexibility in his role complements that which I have in mine.”

Amie Esson

Amie Esson

Senior Estimator

Employer: Willmott Dixon
Sector: Construction

Working from home and remote working Staggered hours

“I considered going part time after my daughter was born, but technology and a culture of trust and openness at Willmott Dixon have enabled me to work flexibly and stay full time. Being able to start earlier and finish earlier means I have more time in the evenings to be with my family. It gives me a chance to catch up on my daughter’s day before she goes to bed. Also working from home now and then allows me to drop my daughter off at Nursery so that I can be involved with her education and development too.

I admit that I felt a little guilty about leaving early at first but after a few weeks it became the norm and now others in my office are starting to work similar patterns.

I think agile and flexible working are moving in the right direction and that different ways of working are becoming more accepted in construction. Since my return there is now a structured return process in place that eases parents back into the work environment and culture. I believe more can be done in the way of peer support from other parents through potential parent networks.”

Alexandra Jardine

Alexandra Jardine

Associate Creativity Editor

Employer: Advertising Age Magazine
Sector: Publishing

Flexitime Working from home and remote working

“Working flexibly from home has enabled me to work for the past eight years at a job I enjoy, while at the same time being there for my children for everything that matters to them, from homework to sports days and play rehearsals (plus, not having to invest in extra childcare). This works very well for our family, as I have a husband who has a very full-on medical job and is rarely able to take time off or work flexibly.

I don’t think this would have been possible 20 years ago in my job as part of a team on a magazine, but technology means that I can file all my work remotely and talk to my work colleagues easily using Slack, email etc. even though they are in the US (and in fact, my direct boss also works from home in LA.) I also feel I am more productive working at home in a quiet study than I would be in an office. You do miss office banter and possibly the ability to bounce ideas around, but on the whole I think it enables you to focus and to concentrate on work without distractions – or office politics.”

Follow our activity on our social media channels: