Flexible working at Deloitte
When our people told us that they value the ability to balance the demands of work and home, we listened. So we created a flexible working culture to help our people build the career and life they want. Because we know that finding balance in your personal and professional life is what helps you to be at your best, and stay at your best.
I have been able to pursue my bid to play professional sport, but at the same time continue to develop and progress my professional services career at Deloitte.
Ollie Newton, Senior Consultant, Tax & Private
For the past two summers, I have been contracted as a player to the Wellington Firebirds. As this is a professional sporting environment, the training and playing commitments are significant. In order to allow me to fulfil my cricket commitments during the summer, I agreed to decrease my work commitments to part time, with the hours worked flexibly around my cricket commitments. While I worked from the office wherever my cricket schedule allowed, I also had the flexibility to work from home (or on the road) in order to complete my work commitments.
I have been fortunate enough that Deloitte has been so accommodating with my Flexible Working Arrangement. The benefits of this arrangement have meant that I have been able to pursue my bid to play professional sport, but at the same time continue to develop and progress my professional services career at Deloitte.
- Be up front and honest about your interests / commitments outside of Deloitte. It is amazing how flexible Deloitte can be in terms of your working arrangements.
- Time management is crucial. The biggest challenge I found with my Flexible Working Arrangement was adjusting to only being able to work for small blocks of time around my cricket commitments (as opposed to coming into the office and working a whole day). For context, cricket took up 25-30 hours a week so it was vital that I planned my work commitments around this each week and stuck to this plan.
- Communication. I can’t stress this point enough! The nature of my Flexible Working Arrangement was such that it was changing on a weekly basis, and in some instances cricket trainings being moved on the day. I was lucky that Deloitte was so flexible in this regard, but it was honest and open communication that allowed my Flexible Working Arrangement to work so well.
My Coach and Service Area Lead were fantastic, they gave me the flexibility to choose how much I did and when.
Jane Fitzgerald, Associate Director, Consulting
I have been with Deloitte for five years now, with three of these in a flexible working arrangement as I had my two children. This has meant two maternity breaks, and multiple variations to my flexible working contract as I changed from two, to three, then to four days per week. My Coach and Service Area Lead were fantastic, they gave me the flexibility to choose how much I did and when. Resulting in what I have now which is working four days and leaving the office in the afternoon to have quality time at home with my kids.
My top tips:
- Ask, your career Coach will be able to help guide you through your thinking and discuss potential options with you
- Communicate with your team's and/or clients early - my teams and clients are generally very supportive and don't mind rescheduling meetings for a day I am in the office
- Discuss how you like to work with your colleagues. I for instance like recieveing text's rather than phone calls when I am home
- Remind people, they will forget you are not always available. Gently remind them when you are asked for something and you are not around - better yet suggest when you will be able to get to it
Every family is unique and so is each individual’s working style so it is important to find what works best for both your family and your team and communicate when there are changes.
Simon McDonald, Associate Director, Corporate Finance
Simon has two boys, Lucas 8 years old and William 5 years old. Simon has been working flexibly since his oldest son was 1 year old.
Every year has been different to suit our circumstances. My wife took a year off when each of our sons was born. When they turned one, we spilt the working week. Helen would work Monday to Wednesday lunchtime, she would drive home and then I would drive into the office and work the second half of the week. We found that working in blocks rather than dipping in and out made us more efficient at work. Plus I did an extra half a day from home, usually when the boys had their daily naps. I would be ‘on call’ and check my emails to stay on top of matters. I found this meant when I came in on Wednesday I knew what needed to be achieved and was focused on that rather than spending half the afternoon playing catch up, and I was able to make sure things we were able to respond to clients in the meantime.
Whilst the arrangements had occasional hiccups, they were manageable and I found that blocking time in my dairy and scheduling meetings in advance meant I could get my work done. With enough advance planning my wife and I could manage childcare if there was a client commitment that could not be shifted, swapping days or taking an early lunch to cover each other. I am not a morning person so would always prefer to stay back later rather than come in early. Being able to plan ahead ensured there was minimal disruption to clients and my team. The Partners were always very supportive too which helped.
My top tips:
- When considering our options, we would always have a preferred option for how to manage our family and careers but we had a back-up of 3 or 4 other options which we could negotiate our flexibility with our respective Managers if that didn’t work for them
- Every family is unique and so is each individual’s working style so it is important to find what works best for both your family and your team and communicate when there are changes.
Flexible working arrangements aren’t limited to those with children
Jo Hallatt, Bid Manager
Determined to pursue my passion for illustration after putting this on the back-burner for years, I negotiated flexible working in my new role with Deloitte.
Many organisations offer flexible working but can fail to live up to these promises. Deloitte was different - the team understood and respected my interest. Flexible working arrangements benefits everyone – satisfaction all round.
- Have a good long think about what arrangements would work for you and why – and consider carefully the impact on you and your team.
- Flexible working arrangements aren’t limited to those with children.
I've found the flexibility works best when it goes both ways - the firm is flexible to meet my needs, but I'm also flexible to meet theirs.
Anne Molineux, Manager, Consulting
Flexible work arrangements
In early 2016 I suffered concussion while cross-country skiing in Alaska. I was off work for 3 months, and have had a graduated return to work since May 2016. I currently work around 30 hours a week, being mornings until 2pm, and again in the early evening.
I try to keep regular hours, which means people know when they can expect to get hold of me, and we can plan in advance how many hours of my time can be sold to clients. I decline 90% of afternoon meetings. At the same time I'm not super strict about keeping my hours - if someone really needs something from me I will flex my hours to make it work. I've found the flexibility works best when it goes both ways - the firm is flexible to meet my needs, but I'm also flexible to meet theirs. It helps that my Partner, team and main client all know the reason why I don't work full time.
Key to success
My Partner and I have a shared expectation of what the firm can expect from me and what I can expect from the firm. She is the first one to tell me to go home if I'm still at work after 2pm!
- Be clear about what people can expect from you and when you will be available.
- But also be prepared to flex your arrangement when required (but no more than ~10% of the time!)
- Don't belittle the importance of your flexible work arrangement - if you don't value it and stand up for it, others won't either.
Deloitte has been open to trying new arrangements and as a team we've been committed to making it work.
Laura Wiltshier, Talent Acquisition Manager
I've been with Deloitte for more than 3 years now and during that time I had my first child. I knew I wanted to come back to work, however, I also knew it was important to be able to spend time with the newest member of our family. I started working 3 days a week and progressed after a year to 4 days with one day worked from home. The team here has been supportive and I've been able to job share with a colleague to manage the team collectively. Deloitte has been open to trying new arrangements and as a team we've been committed to making it work.
My top tip:
- Flexible working arrangements will mean different things to different people, its worth discussing something that you think will work for both you and your team, even if its never been done before.