Case study: Alexis Condie.
Alexis is 36 and lives in Bonnyrigg, Edinburgh. She is an Associate for Maclay, Murray & Spens LLP. Alexis is married and has a 2-year old daughter, Lilia. Alexis works Wednesday to Friday 8am-4pm and has an additional 5 ‘floating hours’ over a Monday and Tuesday, working from home. Her husband works part-time on a rotating schedule, 5am-2pm.
Typically Lilia is looked after by her mum or dad, her grandmother one day a week (at home) or nursery which she attends one day a week. Nursery drop off and pick up is shared between Alexis and her husband.
Alexis says: ‘Both my husband and I wanted a better work life balance. We now feel we have the best of both worlds; we spend time with our daughter while she is little and also work which gives us money to pay the bills and gives us adult interaction. We also like that our parents have the chance to spend time with Lilia during the week. We’re lucky to have family support as well as employer support and Lilia only goes to nursery because we want her to, not because she has to. Our flexible working arrangements suit us really well.’
The job with MMS was secured by Alexis when she was returning from maternity leave. She was keen to return to work on a part-time basis and the partners were supportive of the mutually beneficial working pattern proposed to them. Alexis says: ‘Having fixed hours in the office as well as hours at home means that I’m able to keep on top of things when I’m not in the office. The arrangement is set out in my employment contract. The nature of the job means that there are times when I have to do more hours at home to keep up with things, but that’s part and parcel of being a lawyer. Usually my days in the office are much more productive than when I was full time as I know they’re limited so I am incredibly productive. It took me a while to adjust my mindset so that I wasn’t trying to squeeze 35 hours workload into a 26 hour week, but over time, I’ve definitely achieved more balance. ‘
Alexis feels that her health has also been better since she has worked part time. This, she believes, is in part down to a reduction in commuting, as well as being less tired from working long hours in the office on top of her childcare responsibilities.
Alexis is very happy with her employer and their agreed working arrangement, and believes that they feel the same.