Flexible working: the time is now
The Moixa team shares their experiences on flexible working and explain why it is here to stay
Work-life balance is a hot topic in the UK right now, with flexible working becoming more and more common in today’s workplace. But what is flexible working?
Flexible working is different from working from home. An alternative to traditional-working hours, flexible working includes part-time work, job sharing, early finishes, late starts, working from home or away and picking your own hours. Its main goal is to put people first and improve their work-life balance whilst enabling their employer to continue to expect the best work from their people.
The pandemic really showed how companies treat their employees. At Moixa, it has been easy to default to trust and let our people decide how and when to work and be confident that they will deliver. We believe in people-led design, so many of our initiatives and policies are co-created with our people with their wellbeing in mind. That extends to the hybrid working model – making office attendance voluntary to suit people with different preferences and needs – and great flexibility when it comes to deciding own work patterns.
This week, we have asked our employees who have chosen various forms of flexible working to share their experiences and thoughts on why this flexible model is here to stay.
Marta, Associate Director, People
Marta has recently decided to switch to a four-day working week, as an example.
“I have a four-year-old daughter, and being able to work four days a week gives me the chance to spend a lot more quality time with her. Friday is our day when we do fun stuff together – last week we went to a reindeer farm – and generally enjoy some family bonding time.”
“According to The Flexible Working Regulations 2014, every employee has the legal right to request flexible working if they have been working for their employer for at least 26 weeks. It somehow assumes that you need to “earn” flexibility. With our default to trust, we are flexible from day one. Sometimes you will need to work at a certain time (e.g. if you need to speak to the clients in the US) but you should know best how to manage your day.
“Flexible working requires a high level of trust between a company and its employees and a company culture that puts people’s wellbeing among its top priorities. Working four days a week has definitely improved my work-life balance while at the same time making me more productive and efficient. The same can be said about people starting when they want to. It’s about treating people as adults and focusing on delivery rather than the amount of time spent behind the screen during fixed hours.”
Ed, Commercial Director
Father of two children, Ed has no doubt about the benefits of flexible working:
“Flexible working has been very important for me over the past few years, allowing me to spend time with my family and adjust my schedule to take care of my children’s needs, e.g. doing planned activities like the school run and dealing with curveballs like illness.”
“Moixa is a delivery-oriented environment, and we have proven that working flexible hours is compatible with delivering objectives. One great thing about Moixa is that everyone is really supportive; we always have each other’s back so the fact that I am a parent has never represented added stress. When you talk to people with children, they understand what it’s like if your children need you and you have to postpone a meeting, but non-parents understand it too.”
“I believe this comes from Moixa’s culture, an inclusive environment where everyone is embraced for their uniqueness and flexibility is perceived as something for all genders – parents and non-parents.”
Amanda, Legal Counsel
Amanda used to work for Moixa as a consultant, working a few hours per week. A year ago, she decided to join the company as a permanent employee, working 28 hours a week with a flexible schedule.
“Flexible working allows me the freedom to do many things that I like to do, such as volunteering with children every Monday afternoon. It is something that I’ve done for a long time now, and it really brings me joy. Even with a full-time job, I’d have never given it up.”
“I also take responsibility for helping to care for my mother and working flexibly allows me to change my work patterns to fit in with her needs far better than if I was having to request caring/compassionate leave whenever something comes up.”
“Flexible working is about compromise: it does mean we all need to ensure that everyone is respectful of each other’s availability and we work together to achieve our common goals. Everyone at Moixa has been very supportive: I love the fact that I’m fully trusted to do my work and meet deadlines.”
“Being a woman in a male-dominated field like the legal sector I have worked in before joining Moixa (especially in the past), I’ve personally experienced discrimination. Employers must acknowledge that flexibility is vital if they want to retain talent and achieve genuine gender equality at work.”
John, Associate Director, Software R&D
With two young children aged three and seven, John loves working flexible hours so he can better take care of his children’s needs and spend more time with them.
“I especially like the fact that on some days of the week, I can start early and finish at 3pm, so I can spend some quality time with my family and do fun stuff together. Before joining Moixa, I’ve worked for many years for a Norwegian company, and I have been able to work flexible hours since then. I consider flexible working key to maintaining a good work-life balance.”
“As long as I do my work, it does not matter if it’s done at home, at a coffee shop, after picking the kids up from school and so forth. Especially now that my children are still young, spending time with them is the most important thing, and I would never give up on flexible working.”
Increased wellbeing and a healthier lifestyle
Flexible working also helps your physical and mental wellbeing, allowing you to spend more time outdoors and do sport. At Moixa, many employees love that they can go for a run at any time – we even have a specific icon on our Slack channel – or simply go for a walk in the park for some fresh air or a coffee.
Apart from being good for your body, physical activity is a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges and can definitely boost your mental health and your productivity.
Another push for flexible hours is that we have clients in different parts of the world, for example, in Japan, so if an early morning call is needed, it is good to have a flexible schedule and be able to finish early on these days.
Thanks to flexible working, many Moixans also took on new hobbies and training opportunities, attending courses and lessons during the day and simply adjusting their schedule accordingly.
Flexible working: the new normal
In the past few years, we are finally starting to break down the barriers defined by traditional presenteeism and tayloristic culture as we are in the new era of knowledge work. We’ve entered a whole new way of working that is inclusive and values people’s lives outside work.
Flexible working gives us the freedom to manage our own time and improve our work-life balance. With a simple change to our working style, our wellbeing could improve. It is increasingly clear that flexible working is not a benefit but has become the status quo: when talking about flexible working, instead of asking “Why?” companies start asking, “Why not?
Do you want to experience the default to trust? Apply now, we are hiring!
If you would like to hear more about available roles at Moixa, visit our careers page or get in touch directly with our Talent Acquisition Manager Gail Solomon.