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Insights At Atkins, flexible working is business as usual.

08 March 2020 

Happy International Women's Day! Today and every day, our employees are standing for an equal, enabled world. Part of this year's #EachForEqual campaign is helping to transform individuals' situations. Here's how three Atkins women, Katiana, Rebecca and Jenny, are thriving at work and at home with help from our flexible working culture:

"Being able to work from home, especially when I wasn't able to walk, took the worry and pressure away.”
Katiana, Assistant Project Controls Manager

image of katiana on a walk

I usually work from 8am to 4pm if I'm at the office. Although I work on a major airport project, my team and line manager are always very accommodating of my circumstances. When I have other commitments like hospital appointments and school pickups, Atkins gives me the flexibility to work from home.

I started working flexibly after coming back from maternity leave to balance my work life with child care. When I became disabled around five years ago, flexible working helped me around surgeries and hospital commitments. I wouldn't have been able to go through my treatment without their support and kindness during my recovery. It made a huge, positive impact on my personal and work life. 

"Flexible Working gave me the time to train for the Relay Channel Swim 2018. This year, the Bristol Channel is on the cards."
Rebecca Sheen, UK Practice Manager

image of rebecca with her children

I work 26 hours a week over 4 days. Depending on what work/life throws at me, I usually take a Friday off. 

Returning to work after maternity leave, I wasn't sure how I'd be able to there for my children while continuing to develop my career. After talking to my line manager, he suggested a flexible working week. It's been the best of both worlds. I've adapted my weekly hours over the years to suit my situation at that time. I don't think I'd ever work full time again! 

There's a lot of pressure on working parents to balance work, family, home, and time for yourself. With flexible working, I have time for everything. I can attend a school assembly, I can see my children race at sports day, and also find time to achieve my life-long goals. It's worked wonders for my mental health and means I can keep all those plates spinning – and of course, I occasionally drop a few!

I'd encourage everyone to consider working flexibly. Maybe it's family that's important now, and you want to see your children grow up. Perhaps you're caring for elderly family members. Or you just want time for yourself to achieve a lifelong goal. 

I still get the same opportunities as my full-time colleagues, and my career is going from strength to strength. I can do all this, and do the things that make me happy! 

"My main reason for working flexibly has been to balance a rewarding career as an engineering consultant and family life with two children." 
Jenny Irish, UK Team Leader

Image of Jenny with her children

I started working flexibly after the birth of my first child in 2006. Initially, my pattern was two days a week, which increased to my current 30 hours a week as my family's needs evolved. I work from Tuesday to Friday, with my hours each day varying to fit around family life. I also work from home and buy additional annual leave over the school holidays. 

The flexibility I've had has really helped me thrive in my career. I started out as an engineer. Now, as part of a job-share, I lead a team of 18 engineering consultants, delivering an annual turnover of over £2 million. My job-share partner also works a flexible 30-hour week from Monday to Thursday. 

I encourage my team to work flexibly too, be it varying work hours, start and finish times, working remotely, or taking time off. It's helped us retain talented staff and recruit top talent. I can say my team is happy, loyal, and pulls together to get the job done!

At Atkins, we're shifting the stigma that Flexible Working is just for mums. Dads are taking more active roles in childcare – some of us care for our elderly parents, others have our own medical needs, or want to pursue other interests such as charity work. 

How could flexible working transform your life? Read more about our supportive policies and team culture.