The role of women in the workforce has evolved dramatically over the past few decades. Gone are the days when women were primarily relegated to the role of homemakers. Today, women make up a significant portion of the global workforce, juggling their professional and family responsibilities.
For working mothers, in particular, the challenge of balancing work and family life is a delicate tightrope act. Recent statistics highlight this.
Flexible working arrangements emerged as a lifeline for working mums, providing them with the much-needed flexibility to excel in both their careers and family life.
We've reached out to working mums within the Morgan Hunt team to hear from them about their experiences. Their insights shed light on the unique challenges they face and how flexible working has become an essential tool in their journey to success.
Kirsty Stoddart – Senior Business Manager
In her own words, Kirsty Stoddart sheds light on how flexible working has transformed her work-life balance:
"In terms of flexible working I would say the working pattern I have at the moment really helps with my family life. The fact that I finish at 3pm every day gives me time to see the kids after school and get organised for after school clubs etc without having my head in the laptop at the same time! And when I asked just a few months ago to change my working pattern, it didn’t seem to be an issue to the company or my manager."
She also underscores the crucial role of her manager, Gillies, in supporting her:
"I know it is Morgan Hunt as a company that offers the flexible working, but also I would say the backing I get from Gillies is a massive help too as he is always understanding when 'life' happens and you need to reorganise work, etc."
Kirsty also touches upon the pressure she places on herself as a part-time worker:
"The only other thing I would add is that with working part-time, it is a pressure to achieve and do all parts of your role the same as a full-time member of staff. Not necessarily that anyone is putting pressure on me, but more me putting it on myself if that makes sense!"
Amie Day – Business Manager
Amie Day shares her own challenges as a working mum:
"I have 2 children – 4 years and 2 years old and I find having a career and being a mum very hard and challenging. But Morgan Hunt have made it easier for me by allowing me to work remotely and work 4 days a week so it gives me the time to be at home and flexibility to be there for my children should I need to. It also allows me to manage my own workload and work to suit me and my family."
She emphasises the importance of understanding and support:
"This job is very pressurised and busy, especially being in education at the busiest time of year but having a great manager who is a father himself, he manages to see it through my eyes too. I think more people need to be understanding that not only do we do a good job, but we are a mum to very demanding little people. You need a good team network and support around you who are understanding and considerate."
Annabelle Walster – Business Manager
Annabelle Walster recounts her experience of returning to work after having her second child:
"Returning to work after having my second child was a real shock to the system! It’s difficult to juggle the demands of being a mum whilst still being successful in your career. I am lucky to have had the support of my team in Manchester and in particular my Director, Eliot who has made retuning to work a whole lot easier with his support and understanding he has given me"
She goes on to explain how flexible working has helped her:
"Being able to work in a flexible way has helped me immensely! Living quite a distance from the office, working from home 3 days per week means I get to spend quality time with the children in the evening, something which wouldn’t have been possible before we worked flexibly due to the commute."
Annabelle highlights the challenges of working part-time in a demanding industry:
"Although for me, working 4 days a week is a huge positive, it does present challenges when working in a demanding industry such as recruitment. Having a work from home set up means I can overcome these challenges and speak to my candidates and clients outside typical working hours to ensure my business still runs smoothly!"
Women in the UK are putting in more time at work than ever before thanks to flexible and hybrid working policies that sprang up during the pandemic, an analysis of official data by Bloomberg shows. However despite the numerous benefits of flexible working, challenges remain.
There has been a push to return more workers into the office, which risks undercutting a surge in the hours the women spend on the job.
Hybrid working, such as coming into the office two to three days a week, doesn’t necessarily fall into the flexible working bracket and can bring huge benefits including improved collaboration and enhanced team dynamics. It’s important to strike the right balance and understand the nuances of hybrid and flexible working and what works for the individual.
The concern is that this shift back to the office may affect women disproportionately. The pandemic had increased men's involvement in household responsibilities as more of them worked from home. However, the return-to-office mandates by companies could undermine this progress, creating conflict in two-career households. The reduced flexibility that comes with a return to the office may lead to a less equitable division of household tasks, which in turn can impact equality at home and work. It's a reminder that the benefits of flexible working go beyond gender equality and are vital for a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Working mums are a vital part of the modern UK workforce, and their contributions should be celebrated and supported. Flexible working arrangements provide a lifeline to working mothers, allowing them to excel in their careers while still being there for their families. As society continues to evolve, it's crucial for businesses and policymakers to prioritise and promote flexible working options.
Empowering working mums is not just a matter of gender equality; it's a smart investment in a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce, and a step toward addressing the gender pay gap. If you'd like further advice or guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected].
On Wednesday 1st November 2023 we ran, ‘Navigating Change: Menopause in the Workplace’, where we were joined by three expert speakers who explored the profound impact of perimenopause and menopause on individuals and their careers.
Watch the full recording below
In an increasingly diverse and inclusive world, companies are becoming more aware of the value of different perspectives and unique talents that neurodiverse employees bring to the table. Neurodiversity refers to the range of neurological differences that encompass conditions like autism, ADHD, and dyslexia, among others. To harness the full potential of neurodiverse employees, businesses are recognising the importance of creating neuroinclusion office designs. These environments are not only beneficial for employees with neurological differences but also contribute to a more innovative, creative, and dynamic work culture.
Neuroinclusion office design goes beyond physical spaces; it encompasses a culture of acceptance, respect, and support for neurodiverse employees. Here are some key reasons why it is important:
Neurodiverse employees bring a unique set of skills and perspectives to a team. Recognising and harnessing these benefits can lead to a more dynamic and high-performing workplace:
To create a neuroinclusion office design in the UK, consider the following strategies:
In conclusion, neuroinclusion office design is a critical aspect of fostering a diverse, inclusive, and innovative workplace in the UK. By recognising the value of neurodiverse employees and creating an environment that supports their unique needs, companies can harness the full potential of their teams, improve productivity, and contribute to a more inclusive and equitable future for all employees.
If you want further advice on how to support your neurodiverse employees, contact us at [email protected].
On Thursday 5th October we ran, ‘Black Leadership Job Board: The Next Chatper’, where we were joined by Black Leadership Group co-founder, Robin Landman OBE, who discussed the benefits of the job board and the significance of maintaining a diverse staff. Clare Keniry, Board Director at Morgan Hunt, celebrated the successes of the job board thus far and offered a sneak preview of the new and improved platform coming January 2024.
Watch the full recording below
On Thursday 14th September we ran, ‘The AI Revolution: Transforming the Public Sector’ , where our esteemed speakers delved into the profound transformation AI has brought to the public sector and what’s on the horizon.
Watch the full recording below
AI Resources mentioned
In a revolutionary move that embraces the changing landscape of work, the Flexible Working Bill officially became law in July 2023, empowering employees to seek greater flexibility in their work arrangements (the new rules will likely come into effect in 2024).
For employers, this legislation signals a paradigm shift in how teams operate, compelling them to adapt and accommodate the evolving preferences of their workforce.
The Birth of the Flexible Working Bill
Originally proposed by MP Yasmin Qureshi, the Flexible Working Bill, also known as the Employment Relations Act, signifies a landmark step toward redefining traditional work norms. The bill offers employees the autonomy to determine when, where, and how they work, a transformation that has been accelerated by recent shifts in work patterns.
Understanding the Key Changes
Preparing for a Flexible Future: Employer Responsibilities
Embracing the Flexible Working Bill involves more than just compliance; it's about cultivating a work environment that promotes employee well-being, productivity, and inclusivity. Here's how employers can proactively navigate this new terrain:
The Benefits of Embracing Flexibility
While the Flexible Working Bill introduces new considerations for employers, it also offers a multitude of advantages that can enhance your business:
Possible Negatives to Consider
While the Flexible Working Bill brings forth a wave of positive changes, it's important for employers to also be aware of potential challenges that may arise:
Understanding the potential negatives of the Flexible Working Bill is vital to proactively address and mitigate these challenges. By incorporating thoughtful policies, open communication, and strategic planning, employers can harness the benefits of flexibility while minimising any drawbacks.
As the Flexible Working Bill ushers in a new era of work dynamics, employers have a unique opportunity to reshape their workplaces and empower their teams. By embracing flexibility, you not only comply with the law but also foster a culture of trust, collaboration, and well-being that can drive your business to new heights. The future of work is flexible – it's time to embrace the evolution.