Business case studies

Case study: Flex after cancer

Six years ago Jim McKay went to A&E feeling very unwell and was diagnosed with a burst appendix and a cancerous tumour the size of a grapefruit in his abdomen.

He needed major surgery to remove his appendix, gall bladder, bowl and part of his large intestine. His chance of surviving was only 50%. But he did survive.

Jim, now 45, leads a fairly normal life. He drives, enjoys spending time with his family and going for walks or playing golf. And he still works full time.

Before the pandemic, Jim, who is head of commercial services at The Law Society Scotland, worked a day a week from home.

He said: “The legacy of my illness means I can get really tired. About twice a year, I just run out of energy and spend a couple of days in bed sleeping, and then I’m ok again. Working from home once a week made the physical aspects of working easier to manage.

“But it wasn’t common practice. I was one of the few who ever worked from home and there were odd comments that I must be watching Quincy in my undercrackers, and alike. It was frustrating because I was trusted to manage people and budgets, and yet it seemed I wasn’t always trusted to work out of sight. I’m very focused and results driven, and I was – and still am – very productive at home, yet I felt like I had to apologise for it.

“Covid has been a great leveller on that front because everyone is working from home. I’m not a minority any more, and I certainly don’t get any of those comments. People have realised that productivity, engagement and communication can still be really good if you’re working remotely, and that benefits all sorts of people.”

Jim said he like to continue working from home with occasional days in the office in future.

Jim’s partner also works full time from home, and now neither of them needs to be in an office every day, they are moving with his three step-children from Edinburgh to East Linton, to be closer to the coast.

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