Flexible working – having your cake and eating it.

In our view our business is only as successful as our employees make it, so we need to make sure we have the best person for each job.  It’s not about getting someone who works 9-5 – it’s about getting the best someone.

We took the opportunity to interview Jennifer Adams, a member of our leadership team, to understand how she deals with being a mum and being a director at Incremental Group.

What do you do?

I’m Corporate Development Director at Incremental Group.  In this role I am accountable for powering and supporting strategic initiatives that drive growth.  It’s as wide and varied a role as it sounds.  I get involved in everything from brand development and marketing campaigns, to new office developments and investor relations.

How did you get into that?

I graduated from Strathclyde University with a degree in Marketing and have spent the last 15 years working in B2B IT product and services environments.  The first 10 years were in pure marketing roles.  This then led me into strategy and business planning, and then mergers and acquisitions.  Corporate Development covers all these things.

Why did you choose Incremental?

Having worked across a real spectrum of different organisations, from small startups to major international corporates, I’ve realised that what gives me most satisfaction is working in a fast-paced environment with inspiring people and that having accountability and being empowered to make a difference is important to me too.  Incremental Group ticked all these boxes.

How would you describe flexible working?

I think flexible working is about empowering people to work in a way that fits around their life so you get the best from them.  Whilst an important element of many jobs, and indeed our culture, involves collaboration and communication, this can be achieved remotely via technology in most circumstances.  There may be the odd day you work from home because you’re getting your boiler fixed.  Or you choose to start and finish early because you have a night out.  You might need to work reduced or compressed hours to suit family commitments.  For flexible working to work well there just needs to be trust a little give and take on both sides.

How does this approach work for you?

My working week is Monday to Thursday.  I’ve got 2 children aged 5 and 6 – my little boy has just started school.  Flexibility at work is hugely important to me to allow me to manage logistics and childcare.  Some days I start my day a little later so I can get the kids ready and take them to school.  Other days I will start early and finish sharp to collect them and have plenty time for dinner and homework.  With a little help from Afterschool Club some days, my husband and I manage drop offs and pickups between us and its working really well.

On one level the flexibility at Incremental Group makes my life outside of work a lot easier in a practical sense.  But for me the real benefit of working for an organisation with such a flexible and family orientated culture is much more significant.  It means I don’t have ‘mum guilt’ or ever feel that I’m not there for my children when I need to be.  I get to enjoy them when they are at such a brilliant age (they won’t be for long).  I get all this whilst never feeling marginalised in the office – I am treated with the same respect as everyone else (and afforded the same challenging work!!!).  I feel like flexible working at Incremental Group lets me have the best of both worlds; a career that is challenging, rewarding, where I make a difference and a home life where my kids feel they come first and I’m present in mind and body.

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