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04 November 2020

Life as a working mum at ThirdSpace

Neil Coughlan

Now, more than ever, workplace flexibility is a priority for employees. This is particularly true for parents, as our HR Manager explains in this interview.

The value of flexible working has been an increasing trend amongst job hunters, a benefit that has surged in its importance thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three-quarters of people expect to work from home more often after lockdown ends. Two-fifths want to work from home permanently.

Dynata, Global Consumer Trends Report 'The New Normal', 2020

Many applicants would now take flexible and remote working options over a pay increase. The reason being that flexible working generally provides a better work-life balance and helps employees spend time with their families instead of trudging through the daily commute.

On a recent Teams call I asked our HR Manager, Sian Nicholas, how ThirdSpace’s flexible working approach has benefitted her as a working mum and why she thinks it’s the way forward for organisations in future.

Hi Sian! To start, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role here at ThirdSpace?

Sure, no problem. I’m the HR Manager for ThirdSpace and I manage all of the usual HR stuff and support the business management team from a people perspective.

I work three days a week, usually Monday to Wednesday. Officially, I’m based in the Cwmbran office – but as a working mother, I often find it easier to work from home.

 

So, as a working mother, what do you appreciate most about working at ThirdSpace?

Firstly, I love the people. I’m very fortunate to work with a great team that are absolutely fantastic!

ThirdSpace is a respectful company where colleagues support each other and really live by our values of quality, agility and respect.

As a mother, I love the flexibility of my role with working hours that I can fit around my young family.

It’s tough being a working mum at the best of times. Thankfully, I work for a company where everyone is human and very understanding.

These are qualities that have been invaluable. They allow me to continue working and still be there to support my family.

 

Workplace flexibility is an important factor for parents looking for their next career opportunity. Can you expand on what that flexibility looks like in terms of your work-life balance?

As HR Manager, I strongly support flexible working for our employees.

Being a company that enables our clients to work securely and productively from anywhere, it makes sense for us to allow the same for our people.

For me, I have two young children which, in normal times, brings the constant demand of school runs, sickness and activities. More recently, I’ve had to contend with adding homeschooling and entertainment coordination to that list during lockdown!

Thankfully, unless I have any important meetings booked in, I’m free to manage my workload and hours around these demands.

Also, working three days a week allows me to take on local charity and community work, which is important to me.

But it’s key that this flexibility goes both ways. If needed, I’ll swap my working days around to support my colleagues who have their own demands to meet, because their time is important too.

 

Do you think offering such flexibility will be the way forward for other organisations in future?

How could it not be after the events of 2020? If COVID has proven anything, it’s that providing the flexibility to work where and how we choose is not only possible but preferable for many of us.

Organisations will have to begin offering flexible working options as standard if they want to attract and hold onto the best talent. I think it will be an expectation for many job seekers now. I know that for myself, as a parent, it’s something I’d be on the lookout for.

And really, there’s no downside for a business to offer it – it leads to a much happier and more productive workforce in the long run.

I think David Coplin said it best: “We need to take a more flexible approach to both the workplace and the work we do; focused not on the individual processes but instead on the overall outcomes our organisations are seeking to achieve.”

 

Think ThirdSpace could be home to your next opportunity? Get in touch!

To find out more about our available roles and to see where you can help us succeed, why not send us an email, we’d love to hear from you.

Finally, be sure to follow us on social and keep up to date with all our latest news!

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Neil Coughlan
CEO
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