Refine Your Search
Refine Your Search

News & Views


Empowering Working Mums: The Role of Flexible Working

15 November 2023

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.

Hear From Working Mum’s at Morgan Hunt

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!"

Challenges and Future Developments

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.

The Benefits of Flexible Working for Working Parents

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]


Navigating Change: Menopause in the Workplace

08 November 2023

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. 

We discussed:

  • Perimenopause & menopause and its effects on individuals
  • The impact of perimenopause & menopause in the workplace
  • Strategies for supporting perimenopausal &menopausal employees
  • Tips for individuals currently experiencing perimenopause & menopause


Watch the full recording below



5 Ways to Create a Neuroinclusive Workplace

03 November 2023

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.

The Importance of Neuroinclusion Office Design

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:

  1. Enhanced Productivity
    A well-designed neuroinclusion office can improve the productivity of neurodiverse employees. In the UK, where approximately 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum, a study found that accommodating neurodiversity can lead to increased productivity and business performance.
  2. Talent Attraction and Retention
    Creating an inclusive workspace signals to potential hires that your company values diversity and inclusion. This is crucial in the UK, where only 22% of autistic adults are currently in any kind of paid employment. An inclusive workplace can help retain neurodiverse employees, reducing turnover and the costs associated with hiring and training new staff.
  3. Increased Innovation
    Neurodiverse individuals often possess unique skills and perspectives that can contribute to innovative problem-solving and creativity. By fostering a neuroinclusion office design, the UK workplace can tap into this potential and lead to more innovative solutions and ideas.
  4. Compliance with Legal Standards
    In the UK, the Equality Act 2010 protects employees and job applicants from discrimination on the grounds of disability. A neuroinclusion office design demonstrates a commitment to compliance and social responsibility.
  5. Positive Public Image
    90% of the British public believes that employers should do more to support neurodiverse individuals. Companies that champion neuroinclusion gain a positive reputation, attracting customers and partners who appreciate diversity and inclusive business practices.

The Benefits of Neurodiverse Employees

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:

  • Attention to Detail
    Some neurodiverse individuals have an exceptional ability to focus on intricate details, making them invaluable for tasks that require precision, quality control, and pattern recognition.
  • Creative Problem-Solving
    Neurodiverse individuals often approach problems from unconventional angles, thinking "outside the box." This innovative thinking can lead to breakthrough solutions and ideas.
  • Reliability and Consistency
    Many neurodiverse employees excel in routines and can be relied upon to deliver consistent and high-quality work.
  • Diverse Perspectives
    Embracing neurodiversity enriches your team with a broader range of perspectives, leading to more robust decision-making and problem-solving.

Creating a Neuroinclusion Office Design

To create a neuroinclusion office design in the UK, consider the following strategies:

  1. Sensory-Friendly Spaces
    Design areas that cater to a variety of sensory needs. This includes quiet rooms for focus, adjustable lighting, noise-cancelling headphones, and comfortable furniture.
  2. Flexible Workstations
    Allow for flexibility in desk arrangements, giving employees the option to choose an environment that suits their needs.
  3. Clear Communication
    Implement clear communication strategies, such as visual schedules, to facilitate understanding and reduce anxiety for neurodiverse employees.
  4. Training and Awareness
    Provide training for all employees to raise awareness about neurodiversity and create a supportive workplace culture.
  5. Reasonable Accommodations
    Offer individualised accommodations to support the specific needs of neurodiverse employees. These may include flexible work hours, assistive technologies, or ergonomic adjustments.

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].


Black Leadership Job Board: The Next Chapter

10 October 2023

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.

We discussed

  • Sneak preview of the new and improved platform coming January 2024
  • Successes of the job board so far
  • Benefits of using the job board
  • The importance of fostering a diverse staff


Watch the full recording below



The AI Revolution: Transforming the Public Sector

18 September 2023

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.

We discussed:

  • Ethical concerns surrounding AI adoption in the public sector
  • Ensuring transparency and accountability in AI-powered initiatives
  • Unveiling the potential benefits of integrating AI in government operations
  • Understanding how AI can boost efficiency and effectiveness in public services
  • Identifying and implementing best practices for successful AI integration


Watch the full recording below


AI Resources mentioned


Navigating the Flexible Working Bill: A Guide for Employers

17 August 2023

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

  • Immediate Requests: Unlike previous norms, the new legislation empowers employees to submit flexible working requests from the very first day of employment, amplifying their control over their work-life balance.
  • Consultation and Justification: Employers are now mandated to engage in dialogue with employees before rejecting a flexible working request. This move ensures that all parties understand the reasoning behind decisions and fosters a culture of transparency.
  • Frequency of Requests: Employees can make up to two flexible working requests within a 12-month period, providing them with opportunities to adapt their arrangements as their circumstances evolve.
  • Response Time: Employers are required to respond to these requests within two months, streamlining the decision-making process and allowing employees to plan their work lives more effectively.
  • Impact Assessment: Unlike previous requirements, employees no longer need to predict how their flexible work request might affect their employer. This shift alleviates pressure on employees and allows employers to consider requests without anticipating potential disruptions.

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:

  1. Education and Communication: Familiarise your team with the implications of the bill. Encourage open conversations about flexible working options, addressing any concerns or misconceptions.
  2. Review and Revise Policies: Update your company policies and procedures to align with the new legislation. Establish clear guidelines for processing and responding to flexible working requests.
  3. Infrastructure and Technology: Ensure your organisation has the necessary technological infrastructure to facilitate remote work and flexible arrangements. Invest in communication tools, project management software, and cybersecurity measures to support a dynamic work environment.
  4. Training for Managers: Equip your managers with the skills needed to handle flexible working requests effectively. Provide training on managing remote teams, assessing performance based on outcomes, and fostering a culture of trust.
  5. Evaluate Job Roles: Review existing roles to identify positions that could benefit from flexible arrangements. Assess the feasibility of job-sharing, remote work, compressed workweeks, and other alternatives.

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:

  • Talent Acquisition: In an increasingly competitive job market, offering flexible work options positions your company as an attractive destination for top talent seeking work-life balance.
  • Productivity and Well-Being: Research consistently shows that employees with flexible arrangements report increased job satisfaction, reduced stress, and improved mental well-being, leading to higher productivity and retention rates.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Flexible working can appeal to a diverse range of candidates, contributing to a more inclusive workforce and a broader talent pool.
  • Adaptability and Resilience: Embracing flexibility fosters an agile work environment, enabling your business to navigate unexpected disruptions and market changes more effectively.

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:

  • Team Cohesion and Communication: As employees adopt various flexible arrangements, there might be concerns about maintaining effective team communication and collaboration. A shift to remote work or differing schedules could lead to isolated team members or delays in information sharing.
  • Performance Monitoring: Ensuring consistent performance evaluation and accountability can become complex in a more flexible work environment. Employers may need to establish new methods for assessing employee productivity and delivering feedback.
  • Workload Distribution: Flexibility can sometimes result in an uneven distribution of work, especially if team members have different schedules or locations. Managers will need to implement strategies to ensure fair distribution and prevent overburdening certain employees.
  • Data Security and Privacy: With remote work becoming more prevalent, there could be increased concerns around data security and privacy. Employers must ensure that remote work arrangements adhere to cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive information.
  • Work-Life Boundaries: While flexible working can enhance work-life balance, it can also blur the lines between personal and professional life. Employees may find it challenging to disconnect from work when there are no clear boundaries between office hours and personal time.
  • Business Continuity: In cases where multiple employees opt for flexible arrangements, businesses need contingency plans to manage potential disruptions. Adequate cross-training and communication protocols become crucial to maintain operations smoothly.

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.