Katie Dickerson, better known as SquirmyPopple online, shares her flexible working journey with us as part of our Flexi-Star series, celebrating flexible work in action. Here, she fills us in on how flexible working benefits her family and how she makes this work....
1. Tell us who you are and a little about yourself…
I'm Katie, a Glasgow-based digital content/service designer with a three-year-old daughter, an archaeologist husband, a very loud ginger cat and a pretty serious cheese habit.
I'm really passionate about flexible working and write about it a lot on my blog, The Squirmy Popple, where I also write about feminist issues and funnyish parenting stuff.
2. What’s your flexible working purpose?
I work four days a week, Monday to Thursday, which allows me to stay home with my daughter on Fridays. I can flex my starting and finishing times, work from home when I need to, and stay at home with my daughter if she's sick, so I feel like I have a pretty good work/life balance.
3. What encouraged you to start your flexible working journey?
When I was returning to work after maternity leave, I knew that I didn't want to work full time. Not only could I not afford childcare for five days a week, but I also wanted to spend more time with my daughter.
I submitted a flexible working request after discussing my options with the management team, and we eventually agreed on four and a half days a week. My husband and I starting off splitting the childcare on Fridays. After my husband got a new job and could no longer watch our daughter on Friday mornings, I asked my manager if I could work four days a week instead and submitted a formal request to change my working hours, which was accepted.
4. What’s your top tip for those seeking flexible work or those who need to ask for this at work?
When you make a request for flexible working, don't make it all about you - make sure you show your employer how flexible working can work for both of you. Instead of saying, "Working from home would be easier for me," say something like, “Working from home will mean I don’t have to do a long commute to the office every day, which will mean I have more time to work on my projects.”
If your employer seems reluctant to agree to flexible working, ask for a trial period of a few months so you can prove that the arrangements can work and iron out any issues. There are also plenty of articles about how flexible working can benefit employers and examples of companies that are using it - don't be shy about giving them evidence to help back you up!
Across the UK, professional women and men are waking up to the reality that the traditional 9-5 is not working for everyone. On 12th September 2018, 9-2-3 Jobs would love you to join us as we launch our National Flexible Working Day. It's a chance to join in with our panel discussions about the benefits of flexible working, see it in action and give you a chance to network with like-minded people and forward-thinking businesses. Register here for the event or join in the conversation online using our hashtag #LetsAllFlexTogetherDay. Share your own journey and pictures on the day across our social media platforms. Help us to really shout about Flexible Working and all its benefits!