Photo by Daiga Ellaby.

The power of flexibility in my job as a parent of two

A blog piece by our very own, Oliver Taylor, Account Manager at Flexa.

16th Mar 2022

I’d like to think I am a hands-on dad; night feeds, bed times, taking kids out solo… I am here for it all. 

I lived for the weekend to spend time with my family. I’d spent the last 5 years running a Marketing Agency and a Recruitment Agency specialising in Sales and Marketing. Pretty full on and always working. March 2020 hits and the world stops. The businesses lost our whole pipeline, and our clients pulled everything. Unsurprisingly, Marketing and Recruitment are the first costs to go during a global pandemic. I’d never heard the word furlough before Rishi Sunak announced the scheme. Saviour. 

So now I am sitting with my two year old daughter, my partner pregnant with our son. And I had something I’d never had before. Time. 

Now, Saffron (my partner), works for a Pharmaceutical company, in talent acquisition. She worked through the whole pandemic. Pharma didn’t stop. Let me take you back to April 2020. The weather was glorious and I was out on our daily exercise with my little mate, Matilda and the doggo, Benji. We walked by rivers, climbed hills, went on bear hunts. We sat on a common, picked daisies, talked about clouds, and did yoga. We never rushed. And I had the best 18 months bonding and learning about Matilda. Time I will never have again, time I longed for as the pandemic eased and I had to return to “normal”. 

My marketing business is almost self running; a bit of reporting, invoicing, and client contact. 

Recruitment - that's a different beast; one I had lost any drive or passion for. I didn't want to chase candidates from 7.00 am - 7.00 pm. Talking to prospective candidates during dinner with the kids, bath time, play time before bed. Alongside running a business, VAT returns et al.

I saw an advert for a role at Flexa. Offering a great deal of flexibility, remote working, core hours and the chance to be part of a vibrant growing start up with a clear message. 

A few interviews later and I’m here, feet under the dining table and helping to champion flexible businesses across the world. Not only that, it's given me what I had longed for again. Time. Want to take the kids to swimming lessons? Cool. Play with Barbie for an hour in the morning. Fine. Finish early and go to the park. Perfect. 

I get to eat dinner with my kids, do bed time, read stories, be present in their lives and not have to stop to take a work call. I can plan my day, complete the work and have the autonomy - and trust - to undertake the work necessary to perform my role. Alongside being Dad. Rather than having to work at a desk 9.00 am - 5.30 pm with an hour or so commute. Flexibility gives me opportunities to see more of my kids, to see the development that dad’s don’t often get to see. I know it's a very stereotypical view, but it's still the majority of men that are the “breadwinner” and miss so much. But with flexible working hours and the trust and autonomy to manage myself I can be both Dad and “breadwinner”.

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