Trying to find a healthy work-life balance can often be a struggle, especially when you’re planning to start a family. At SThree, we understand how hard our employees work which is why we’re very open to offering flexible working opportunities.
We work with our employees to find a solution that works for all; here’s a story about how we support a married couple – who work across two of our SThree brands – in raising a family and having a successful career.
Introducing the Hopcrofts
Husband and wife, Adam and Brooke Hopcroft, work in Birmingham for separate brands within the SThree Group; Adam is a Business Manager at Real and Brooke is a Principal Recruitment Consultant for Huxley.
The couple have two young children and are, at the same time, very committed to being successful in their careers. We spoke with them about how their flexibility has helped them achieve a healthy balance between their family and working life.
Establishing a work-life balance
Adam currently works on an informal flexibility schedule, where on Tuesdays he’s able to drop his children off at nursery. “Knowing I can come in late or leave early is really helpful,” says Adam.And whilst he’s rarely in the office after 9am, Adam enjoys the ability to work flexible hours, “Because Brooke’s happy, I’m happy and it means I can spend more time with my children.”
Unlike Adam, Brooke isn’t usually based in the office; instead, she works three days a week from home and two days a month from the office. Brooke’s role is very client based, so the flexible working arrangement works really well for her and for the business.
Adam and Brooke’s arrangement has created flexibility around childcare and saves Brooke from commuting for an hour and a half into Birmingham city centre each day. “I can spend the time I would have spent commuting working instead, meaning I can manage my workload efficiently and get the most out of my flexibility”.
Flexible working for more productivity
It’s easy to become distracted in a busy office; whether it’s a colleague asking for advice, offering you a cup of tea, or wanting to talk about what TV shows they’re watching.
Brooke is very open about how she feels flexible working increases her productivity, “Being at home with no distractions, I feel I can make the most of my time… I can completely focus on work and then look forward to having four days with my children.”
Making a success of flexibility
We’ve seen a rise in formal flexible working arrangements at SThree (such as Brooke’s) over the last two years, while seeing more people take advantage of informal flexibility (such as Adam’s flexitime).
For their first child, Brooke worked four days a week, with three of them in the office. The couple were honest with their managers when discussing how flexi-working didn’t work for them the first time around, whereas now Adam says they have a relationship based on trust with SThree.
Brooke is delighted with her new flexible working arrangement and happy with how understanding SThree has been, “It’s been completely based on trust, I keep in regular contact with colleagues and I can get on with my job which is great.”
How you can make it work for you
“From my personal experience, I would advise you, if you’re considering flexible working options, have a think about exactly what you may need or want, and have an open and honest conversation when submitting your request with your manager”, continues Brookes.
“It’s important to think about how you can make it work for you, your manager and/or your team, as working from home isn’t always the best option for everyone. If you can demonstrate a good case that won’t be detrimental to your role within the business, the response will most likely be positive.”
Brooke and Adam both believe the success of their flexibility stems from a respected two-way relationship with their managers, ensuring that the arrangement is beneficial for both parties, as well as the business. Brooke says “It’s about knowing what I want, so it’s almost made me work harder to prove that I can make it work so that I can continue doing it”.
If you’re considering a career in recruitment with a company that understands the importance of working flexibly, then take a look at our most recent career opportunities in the United Kingdom.