A Day In The Life Of A Flexible Worker
Structural Engineer Anna Zhang works five days a week, but at reduced hours. She shows us how flexible working has made it possible to pursue her two loves: Enjoying her two young children as they grow up, and the career that she’s passionate about.
6.30AM: IT’S MONDAY AND MY ALARM GOES OFF!
I guess my morning routine is like any other working mum’s. It’s all about getting everyone dressed, fed and to school and work on time. (Chaos!)
9AM: CRUNCH TIME
When I made the decision to go flexible, I discussed a few different options with my line manager. In the end the toss up was between four full days or five days with shorter hours. We decided that the latter would work better for me.
So with the kids safely at school, it’s time to focus on what I have to do today. With fewer hours, I know I that I need to work efficiently to get everything done before I leave the office. I may have to skip lunch today—which I know isn’t good for my health—but luckily it’s not something I have to do very often.
Some of my other team members are also on flexible hours, and this morning not everyone’s in. So I use WhatsApp to catch up with various aspects on the project we’re working on. No problem!
We have team and project meetings regularly, most of these are within my working hours, but tomorrow the team can only meet up in the late afternoon. So I give a friend a quick call and she agrees to have the children for a couple of hours so I can attend.
3PM: OFF TO DO THE SCHOOL RUN
My flexible work hours are amazing. I really value the opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills at work. In the afternoons it’s great to be able to pick up my children from school, get them off to their clubs, and be there for them right up to bedtime.
THANK YOU ATKINS!
I don’t know what I’d do without Atkins’ very reasonable approach to flexible work hours. My line manager, Alison, and group leader, Paul, have been extremely supportive in enabling me to achieve what I feel is a perfect work and life balance. What difference you’ve made to my life and it’s much appreciated!