Supporting flexible working at Trinity McQueen

I’ve been working in the market research industry for 20 years.  During that time, I have had 3 children and supported the upbringing of 2 step children.  My husband works full time in an equally demanding job.  It has been challenging maintaining the work life balance and has led to feelings of guilt and doubt.  You constantly question yourself on your role as an employee and a mother… Am I around enough for the kids?  Am I letting my colleagues down because I have to pick my kids up and can’t attend that client meeting?

According to Working Families, the UK’s leading work-life balance organisation, there are 11 million working mothers and fathers in the UK which makes up more than a third of the workforce.  A report they published in April of this year revealed:

  • 46% of people in the UK want to work flexibly but currently only 8.7% of jobs are advertised flexibly
  • Eight out of ten mothers and seven out of ten fathers would assess their childcare needs before taking a new job or promotion, limiting career progression and costing the economy billions in under-utilised skills. The estimated annual costs of underutilising women’s skills alone is estimated to be between 15 and 23 billion pounds.

Flexibility leads to a happier workforce

Fortunately for me, Trinity McQueen is a company that actively supports working families and having experienced this herself, Anna Cliffe, joint managing director recognises the value in offering flexible working.

“When my children were younger, I worked 3 days a week for a while and then 4. I really appreciated the flexibility I had to make that choice and when I set up Trinity McQueen I was determined that we offer the same opportunities. For me it’s a no-brainer – I want to keep good people in their jobs and I know how difficult that can be sometimes – life doesn’t always fit 9-5. So we’re always willing to listen and try and craft a role that works for the person and the company”

So, at Trinity McQueen we have a variety of work patterns that support the individual and work for the company.

I currently work three days a week on a job share basis with Laura Fitch, also a Research Director.   We both appreciate the flexibility in being able to spend precious time with our children and the job share of Team Head means our team is fully supported across all days of the week.  We also have other working mums Shazia Ali on a 3 day week and Mich Preston on a 4 day week.

And it’s not just the working mums that Trinity McQueen considers as Nathan Bartlett reveals..

“Being able to work a 4 day week was so important to me when I joined Trinity McQueen and I was delighted the company took my request on board. When I was looking for a new job, quite a few rejected my request outright. Some even thought it was unusual for a bloke to make such a request. Being able to spend those days with my son before he started school made me a happier person, it gave work some perspective, and it meant that when I was in the office I wasn’t feeling that I was missing out on his development.”

Trinity McQueen has also offered flexibility for other work-life balance challenges.  This has included support for an employee who had to look after a family member suffering illness and a change to working hours when commuting became a challenge for one employee following our office move from Headingley to Leeds city centre.

Encouraging diversity in the workforce by enabling people from different lifestages to be able to continue to work and keeping women in senior roles, also helps us to become better at our jobs.  We can be better at developing insight because we’ve got more varied viewpoints and experiences within our company.

The flexibility that Trinity McQueen offers has genuinely made a massive difference to my work-life balance.  I’m much happier in my career, I feel motivated and supported to do the best I can in my role at Trinity McQueen. 

As far as I can see flexible working is a win-win situation that breeds a positive working culture for both the employee and the employer.

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