The Benefits of a Flexible Work Environment

Flexibility comes in many forms and is a fundamental part of the modern workforce.

The Benefits of a Flexible Work Environment

Flexibility comes in many forms and is a fundamental part of the modern workforce. The benefits of a flexible work environment, for both employers and employees, are widely documented. For employers it encourages diversity and improves retention and for employees it supports their work/life balance and enhances wellbeing. But to achieve the right balance can be challenging and it requires a collaborative effort to get it right. It has to be two-sided and requires flexibility on both sides.

One of the perceptions about moving into consulting is that you have to forfeit your work/life balance for interesting work. In this article Virginia Wilson-a Senior Consultant within the business-explores her experience moving into consulting and how the Apis approach enabled her to do interesting work on a part time basis:

Balance is important

The ability to maintain access to part time and flexible hours was a big consideration for me in the move from the Public Service to Apis. I was motivated to join Apis as they have a reputation for delivering quality work on high profile and complex programs but I wanted to be able to maintain working 4 days per week as it is extremely important to me and my family.

How to achieve it

I was very upfront about my requirements with the Partners as part of my recruitment process. I was upfront with what I was looking for from the outset and the Partners were very clear on what the boundaries were. This was refreshing as it meant we were able to get to a position that was mutually agreeable for all of us.

I was initially concerned about the challenge of responding to client needs in the periods I’m not at work. But I have received very good support from everyone I have worked with and clients have responded favourably.

I recognise it is a collaborative effort and I try to be pretty flexible in my ‘flexible’ arrangements.  I think it is a 2 way street and am happy to juggle things in order to make sure outcomes are achieved and clients remain happy.  Work demands require a significant amount of juggling – I don’t see this as any different to other people who work full time. It’s a balancing act, but it’s worth it.

What are the benefits?

Having flexibility has allowed me to grow  a rewarding career, to work on complex Government reforms and other work which is of interest to me, whilst maintaining a balance. For me personally it offers me the ability to be a part of our school community. Being actively involved while the kids are young is priceless for me.  I look forward to  Friday morning spending time in the kids classrooms helping out.  Kids are such great levellers and really remind you to live in the moment.  They have so much enthusiasm and energy that it’s impossible for it not to have a positive effect.

I think it benefits Apis because I have increased energy levels and motivation for work – everyone benefits from that. When I am in the office I am focussed because I know what I need to do to reach a healthy balance.

Flexibility also aids in diversity for the company and for clients by bringing a different way of working and thinking to the table.  This approach enables us to bring the right people on-there aren’t barriers. Contribution to the business balanced with flexibility can be achieved through honest conversations held up-front.

Having access to part time and flexible working arrangements, whilst being able to grow my career, has increased my job satisfaction substantially.  I was a bit apprehensive at the start with Apis but my ability to balance work and life demands has exceeded any preconceived notion I had.