I was interested to read this articlein The First Post demanding that work life balance be seen as a right for all, and not just for working mothers. As PR is an industry dominated by women, it has become increasingly important to employers to find a way to accomodate working mothers and bring skills back to the workforce after the baby is born. Lots of PR agencies (and to some extent in-house too) have cottoned on to the fact that allowing part time working, job shares and flexible hours means that mums that really do want to come back to work, can. Just because they choose to have children, does not mean they can’t add value to their clients.
When we head hunt candidates here at Indigo Red we ask them what they would change about their current position to make it the perfect job. Perhaps surprisingly, the answer isn’t always "money" and increasingly the response is "I want a better work life balance". Flexible working and part time opportunities are increasingly more appealing to everyone, not just working mothers, and at the more senior end it seems these wishes can be accomodated.
I currently work from home one day a week, which means on that day I don’t have an hour and a half commute each way and essentially get three extra hours to do with what I wish – even if it is the laundry! On the days I am in the office in Watford, I work from 7.30am – 4.30pm and hence miss most of the heavy commuter traffic. After 4.30 I still have my Crackberry so there’s no danger that clients or candidates (or my boss) can’t get hold of me. I have no children, but these flexible working arrangements were extremely appealing to me and I can’t deny that they were part of the reason I took this job.
As trends change in both recruitment and employment, it is essential that employers are as flexible as possible with their working arrangements. Those that offer flexiblilty will find employees who know they are on to a good thing and will encourage loyalty and brand praising from within.