Five years ago it wouldn’t be uncommon for me to work 12 hour days or longer, leave the house at 5:30am and not return until 9pm. There would be days when I wouldn’t see my children – Amelia now eight, Joseph 14 and George 16, or even my wife Amy.
Amy pointed out she was seeing more and more fathers at the school gates. I realised it was incredibly unfair that she should shoulder family responsibilities as well as working full-time, pursuing her own career, whilst I was caught up in my own schedule.
Bringing up the family is a partnership too, and it was only right I played my part.
At times I still do long days, but I flex them around my clients, my team and my family. Sometimes I leave the house at 5:30am – it means I can get into the city, go for a run, be at my desk by 7:30am and leave early to go and collect the kids from school.
Other days I work from home, I may have a client meeting out of London, so I drop the kids off, drive to client site and get back to pick them up from school and then ferry them to football practice or hockey training. On days where I work flexibly I’ll often do some work in an evening or make calls to suit my US based clients.
Flexibility is a two way street – it is essential that it goes in both directions.
I have a responsibility not only to my own family but to my team, not to be at my desk from first thing until late at night. To reinforce that presenteeism is not the measure of success, but the quality of your work and client satisfaction is.
Taking advantage of our flexible working culture at EY means I have a happier work and home life. I get to spend more time with my family, fit in more exercise, be more involved in my children’s lives, and support my wife pursuing her career, whilst finding I am even more focused on achieving results for my clients and building our business.
To find out more about flexible working at EY visit http://ukcareers.ey.com/flexibleworking/#