From managing school runs to managing Parkinson's: making flexible working work

Here at EY, our people choose to work flexibly for various reasons. Gulenn, Jodie and Kiran from our Data & Analytics team tell us how they make it work for them.

Gulenn També, Partner

Gulenn has a 13-year-old daughter and, while nursery runs are a thing of the past, there always seems to be an event to attend. School bakes, discos, homework challenges – you name it, she does it! Flexible working has enabled her to balance her career and duties as a single parent while sharing experiences with her daughter, like taking the odd hiking trip to North Wales. When starting out, she could never have envisioned the career she’s had so far, and couldn’t have done it without the trust and support of her team.

“The key is to focus on being transparent with everyone and setting parameters upfront. In exchange, I’m able to be flexible and open for my clients.” 

Jodie Forbes, Senior Manager

Jodie has early-onset Parkinson’s disease and works from home one day a week in addition to a temporary reduced hours arrangement. Though medication helps control the symptoms, it can be tiring. Initially, he found stepping out of social gatherings a bit awkward, but his team really supported him. Avoiding an hour-long commute and having extra time to rest midweek has also had a surprising effect on his energy levels throughout the rest of the week. He has a demanding job, but with careful management and a little flexibility, he can work effectively despite his health condition.

“When in doubt, speak to your manager and, if appropriate, your HR team about your situation – you’ll be surprised how accommodating businesses can be!” 

Kiran Bal, Senior Manager

Kiran’s main fear when returning to work after maternity leave was having to travel for client projects and going days without seeing her son. That’s why she met with her leadership team and HR to discover how flexible working could help her achieve the work life balance she needed. Agile working means she can spend time with her son every day for breakfast or bedtime, which has been invaluable to her. She’s also had the chance to work from home on Fridays to take her son to swimming lessons – helping him raise over £800 in a charity swim-a-thon!

“Never feel you need to compromise your career for family, or vice verse. Ensure you find out how flexible working can benefit you.”