National Work Life Week (2-6 October) is an opportunity to focus on well-being at work and work-life balance.
Our Athena SWAN application (submitted in April 2017) outlines our commitment to developing a more inclusive flexible working environment including specific actions focused on family friendly policies and practices. We have already become members of the Working Families charity and plan to utilise their expertise in developing our resources and facilitating longer term cultural change.
Read more about our family friendly policies and other benefits, such as health and wellbeing, within our ‘getting the benefit’ page. And read more below from some of the HR team on how they attempt to balance life inside of work and out.
If you have a story about how you’re working flexibly at UEL, please get in touch (email firstname.lastname@example.org). We’re looking at running a broader campaign around this later in the year. You may also be interested in our EDI newsletter – find out more and sign up.
Meanwhile My Family Care are offering a webinar on ‘Striking the Right Work-Life Balance‘ as part of National Work Life week – Wednesday 4th October, 12.30. What does it mean to have ‘work-life balance’, ‘work-life integration’ or ‘life-balance’? Do you like to shut the door on work at 5.30 and switch to your home life or prefer to run work and life together?
Read more about work life balance stories from the HR team.
|‘Being allowed to work 10am to 6pm allows me to make breakfast for my daughter Harriet and discuss current affairs that preoccupy a six year old and a middle aged man. Working dads can feel a little out of it with their kids and breakfast chats really helps me to keep in touch. I also drive into work and leaving just a little later helps with my journey. The HR team are a bunch of early starters so this fits in nicely with my colleagues and of course I am always available to arrive earlier if required.’
Greg, Senior HR Manager (Strategy and Change)
|‘When we found out we were expecting, my first thought was, ‘how long will I get off to spend time with the new baby?’. Two weeks for paternity leave was not enough as I really wanted to be around for the baby’s first couple of months! Shared parental leave was ideal in this case. I took 18 weeks to be around for Zak’s first 5 months and really experience all the wonderful things that come with being a new parent!’
Irfaan, Equality and Diversity Manager
|’I came back from maternity leave last February; at the time contracted to work 2.5 days per week, I was able to work the 0.5 at home. This really helped adjusting back to work especially as my son was only 5 months old. I have recently increased to 4 days per week. I still work at home alternate Wednesdays (with my partner working at home the other Wednesdays) which saves on over 3 hours commuting and means we can drop our older son off at school. He started reception class last year; we were able to join him for the ten minute parent / child reading session before school and still be at the desk by 9am! I also find those days really effective for working on something that requires lots of concentration.’
Clare, Athena SWAN Project Officer
|’I started out working Mon-Wed but realised after I came back from maternity leave that it made more sense for me to cover Wed-Fri. Having one of us available 5 days a week is pretty helpful to getting my job done (recently my colleague sent reminders when I was off on a fairly urgent piece of work) so it means I’m more productive when I’m here and happily nursery was less busy Thurs and Fri and Friday’s at work seem quieter too so I tend to get a lot more done!’
Jess, HR Project Manager
|‘I used to work the hours of 8:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday. However, following the time change in breakfast club provision at my daughter’s school, I have had to shift my start time to 8:30am; allowing me to drop her off to school every morning. I take half hour lunch breaks each day to so that I can leave the office promptly at 4:00pm to allow time for pick up at the end of the school day. By shifting my working hours, I am still able to fulfil my role both as a full-time mum and an employee!’
Yasmin, PA to the Head of HR
|‘Myself and a few colleagues get together to play at Badminton each week at Sports Dock. It’s a shared interest away from work commitments, a good way to build team spirit, make sure I take my lunch break and if I’m having a good day I even win the odd match.’
Julia, HR Project Manager