When asked what the Institute does well for staff, staff consultation answers included ‘the ability to work flexibly’. Flexible working is common at all grades and often arranged informally with the line manager. The working culture at the Institute is based on getting the job done and hours spent in the lab are not formally counted.
There are many reasons for flexible working: collecting children from school, caring for a relative, additional learning, religious observation or a long commute. Some staff work from home when reading or writing manuscripts. Each case is individual, and is based on the staff members’ work and other commitments.
I am a post doc at the Institute. Following the arrival of my second child I requested to work three days a week. Another post doc was recruited to work two days to job-share with me. Currently I am at home with my children on Monday and Tuesday and in the lab Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
I am a group leader at the Institute. I worked flexibly for a period of time while both of my parents were ill. My line manager understood that sometimes I had to leave with little or no notice to help care for either of them.
I’m a group leader at the Institute. My children attended the excellent on-site nursery
and this allowed me to continue to breastfeed during the day. Now my children are older I work flexibly so that I can pick them up from school a few times a week.
I’m the International Grants Manager at the Institute. I work both part-time and flexibly. This, not surprisingly, has both pros and cons. My week is a mixture of long and shorter days in the office and then logging on as required at other times. This working pattern will not suit everyone, because closing the door to your office does not always mean it is the end of your working day.
I am a Senior Research Associate and I work part-time (80%). The ability to work part-time has enabled me to balance professional and family commitments.
I am a group leader at the Institute. I live in London and have a small child, so I usually work from home one day a week.
I’m a member of the Public Engagement Team. I enjoy being able to start and leave work earlier than ‘normal’ working hours. As a father of two children I am grateful for this flexibility – even a half-hour difference gives me more time with my family. I occasionally work at evenings and weekends, and my line manager encourages me to balance these extended working hours with time off to ensure a healthy work/life balance.
I am a senior postdoc with young children. My line manager is very supportive, understanding that my working hours need to be flexible when my children need me. This can involve leaving work early with little or no notice, and then working from home or returning to the lab to finish experiments. On-site housing, an excellent nursery and after-school club have helped me to juggle my work and my family.
I am a post doc at the Institute. My family are based in Coventry, so I commute on a weekly basis. My line managers are happy for me to work Mondays from Warwick University. This flexibility has been very helpful. It has allowed me to successfully fulfil my work responsibilities with greater peace of mind while contributing more to my family life. It has also helped me to establish new collaborations in Warwick.
I am a post doc at the Institute. Working flexibly is the norm in our lab, everyone fits their working hours around experiments and other commitments. Most people do this on a full-time basis. I have a formal arrangement with HR to work slightly reduced hours and an informal arrangement with my group leader to take this time off for family responsibilities when needed rather than on a regular basis.