Flexible working: what works?


What works for flexible working? Workingmums.co.uk’s founder Gillian Nissim hosted a session on just this subject at the recent MindSet Shift Summit.

The speakers were from two of our 2017 Top Employer Award winners: Mathew Cutts, director of healthcare communications company Cuttsy and Cuttsy, and Sarah Sutton, Head of People & Development at digital marketing and publishing company Genie Ventures.

They discussed their winning policies, practice and work culture, why that culture matters to their business, how they make it work and all things flexible working.

Nissim said: “When I set up Workingmums.co.uk in 2006 the aim was to provide a bridge between mums who were stuck in the flexible jobs they had negotiated after maternity leave and employers who were seeking the kind of experience many of the mums had. There was very little research backing up the business case for flexible working at the time and the legislation that existed framed flexible working as more of a favour done to parents and carers.

“Things have changed a lot in the interim. The internet has transformed businesses – making it more fast-moving, dynamic and in many cases more precarious, technology has made it more and more easy to work from anywhere at any time and increasing globalisation means many businesses are operating in multiple time zones. Adaptability – and flexibility – is now crucial  as is getting people with the right skills, experience and potential. Many sectors have skills shortages and the competition for talent is increasing. Research shows a huge demand among many workers, particularly parents and younger and older workers, for greater flexibility. What was seen as a favour to employees is now crucial to organisations’ viability – even if not all of them seem to understand this yet or at least to understand how to do it well.”

The MindSet Shift Summit is an online event, set up by Sophie Segal, a mum who left the corporate world after having children and is now an entrepreneur. Held last week, it focused on the pre-job search element of getting back to work as Sophie believes this is critical to removing internal barriers and regaining confidence. It also aimed to connect like-minded mums and companies.

Sophie says: “Having a child is a life-changing moment for a woman – with change comes doubt, uncertainty and a need to re-adjust. It is also an opportunity to be creative and that is exactly what the summit was about – about taking baby steps that will lead to a mindset change, about looking at your career in a positive way again and finding that dream job… on a flexible basis.”

The Summit consisted of a combination of live and pre-recorded masterclasses, interview sessions and inspirational stories from over 25 experts, businesspeople, coaches and mums. Topics covered included career change, social media & networking, storytelling, self promotion, pitching and CV writing.

*For more information, go to: www.mindsetshiftsummit.com

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