Agile working has been saved
Life at Deloitte
Work your way
Respect is at the heart of our culture here at Deloitte. And that includes understanding that you – like all of us – have commitments and interests outside work that you’ll be juggling with your career. Finding the balance for you, and your team, is key.
From flexible hours to working from home, we’re open to all sorts of different working arrangements. The conversation begins even before you join us for an interview. Ask your recruiter about our agile working choices and feel free to discuss what’s important to you.
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BrightStart apprentice Amy and Respect & Inclusion Manager Sheree share their experiences of how agile working has helped them make the most of their professional and personal lives.
Eleanor O'Reilly, Consulting (Director) - Agility means things can change day to day and week to week
I flex my working patterns to be responsive to my children’s ever-changing needs – and those of my clients.
I have 3 children and have been working on an agile basis for the last 7 years since my first child was born. I work 4 days per week and have been able to continue through the career ladder even with (or despite!) having young children.
Agile working enables me to get the work done at a time and in a style that works around my family. As an example, I generally leave the office early enough to see the children for the bedtime routine. I then continue working later in the evening when I've had my "child fix". I'm naturally a night-owl and find that I focus better in the evening so this pattern suits me.
My children's demands continue to change as they get older and I am constantly needing to flex my working patterns to be responsive to their ever-changing needs. Being able to work from home sometimes enables me to attend school assemblies, sports days etc. in a way that many more structured professions don't.
In my experience clients and Deloitte respect and recognise my need to put family first but the one golden rule for making it work is to be open about it and manage expectations. As long as you meet client demands, they generally don't mind where or when you do it!
Carrie Isaac, Consulting (Senior Manager) - Arrangements don’t always need to be formal
We reached an agreement which gave me 8 weeks of the year to spend genuine time with the kids.
I joined Deloitte at the end of 2011 and after a year of travelling 4 days a week I decided that I needed to change my working hours as I just wasn't getting enough time with my children (then aged 5 and 8).
My Service Area Lead was fantastic and we sat down together to consider options right through from part time working to a more agile arrangement. We agreed an informal arrangement which allowed me to take unpaid leave in the summer holidays, which on top of my normal holiday plus my purchased options meant that I got 8 weeks of the year to spend genuine quality time with the kids.
My top tips:
- Engage with your project lead up front if you have any travel or time restrictions - this way they can make an informed choice before you join the project and it saves any awkward conversations at a later date
- If (like me) you need to do the school run occasionally, or take time out for sports day, book it in advance so that you don't miss out on important things
- Use the flexible benefits on offer for holiday purchase - if you don't use the days, you get the money back!
Hannah Pop, Audit (Director) - I run my diary like a small military operation
Constantly looking ahead and building plans help me balance my family with client work
I have been with Deloitte for nearly 13 years and I currently work three days a week in a client facing role. The keys for me in making a success of my role are flexibility and planning ahead. I run my diary / childcare like a small military operation, constantly looking ahead to when I might need to stay late, who can cover, what I may need to reschedule etc.
My top tips:
- Have a designated work space at home. I am lucky to have an office at the bottom of my garden which allows me to get away from the house (the mess of the kids’ toys, the washing machine etc.). It means that when I do work from home I can have a really focussed, effective working day and I don't have to pack up my laptop when I collect the kids.
- Set your own boundaries - you can say 'no': I try to keep Monday/Friday as non-working days. When exceptions are made it is my choice to do so and I will usually say 'yes' to a client meeting which can't be rescheduled but 'no' to internal meetings where I am not essential (if I am essential it should be moved anyway!).
- Decide what works best for you. I have never been good at working late so I would rather finish up early and complete my work on a Saturday whereas other people would rather work as late as needed on Friday to keep the weekend to themselves. It is important to establish how you work best in your role (at work and at home) and focus on achieving the most that you can when you are at work.
Alison Ross, Financial Services Scotland (Executive Assistant) - I’m amazed at how positive people are when you mention agile working.
People are very respectful of the arrangement and the fact they trust me to get on with my work means a lot
Agile working would never have crossed my mind until I returned to the office after a 6 month break having been diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2013. The suggestion came from my local HR contact who was very keen for me to give it a try to break up my working week. I'm amazed at how positive people are when you mention you are working from home and how common it actually is.
It does require a certain level of maturity in your approach and clear communication with my team and colleagues otherwise it wouldn't work. In my case I remind my partner/team in advance just in case they have any on site requirements that day e.g. client deadlines where they require me to be in the office, but on the whole people are very respectful of the arrangement and the fact that they can easily contact me throughout the day and trust me to get on with my work means a lot.