Business case studies

case study: Inspire

Andrew Reid, 42, is a development manager at charity Inspire. He lives in Aberdeen with his wife Julie and their two children aged five and three.

Julie is a teacher and has largely been in school throughout the pandemic, so Andrew's role had to flex around their children, who have been at home in the mornings and at nursery in the afternoons. Pre-Covid, they were looked after by grandparents in the mornings but this hasn’t been possible since.

Andrew said: “Pre-Covid, my wife and I would have a frantic hour getting everyone ready and out the door early so we could drop the children with grandparents and get to work.

“Now I tend to use that time to check my emails and work for an hour. By 9am, I’ve cleared most of my inbox. After that I’ve been muddling through the mornings with our children still at home. Sometimes I just have to stop for a bit and give them the attention they need. But I know that come lunchtime, I take the kids to nursery, and I have the afternoon when I’m childfree and can really focus.

“My wife is home around 4.30pm, so I’ll often then work till 6pm. I still get everything done, just in a slightly different way.

“I’ve really enjoyed being around more. Pre-Covid, I’d have dropped the kids off around 8.30am and I wouldn’t get home till 6pm, and the kids are in bed by 7.30pm. I didn’t see them very much in the week at all. I realise now how much I missed with my son in his early years.

“I think working at home has definitely helped with improving my mental health too. The opportunity to more easily get out for a short walk or run at lunchtime - and have easy access to a shower after - has been a real bonus. Less time spent travelling to and from work, and the ability to keep on top of housework and cooking has just generally improved my work life balance.

“I hope I’ll be able to continue working from home, and just go into the office as and when it’s required, and that I’ll be able to continue flexing my hours a little bit so I can do the nursery or school-run if need be, and spend time with my children when it matters.

“The pandemic has showed that people can be trusted to produce what’s required, and the whole clock-watching and rigid 9am-5pm system is unnecessary.”

Andrew’s employer, Inspire, supports adults with learning disabilities. This includes helping people in their own home, or in specialist services. As an organisation, Inspire is looking at how it can offer more flexibility to all employees, including those who work directly with the people they support and cannot work from home.

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