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SMART Working: Zoe Muskett

Case Study: Zoe Muskett, Head of HR Services, EMEA - Invesco UK Ltd

Zoe Muskett

Do you have any direct reports? If so, how many?

6 (plus 10 indirect reports).

Why do you work flexibly?

With two young children, it is of primary importance to me that I can achieve the right balance between work and my family.

What does FW look like for you?

I am contracted to work 4.5 days per week but the hours I work each day vary. Sometimes I will start work at 7am, other times I will drop my children at school and start at 9.15am.

There are days when I stay in the office until late and there are other times when I leave at 4pm, collect my children from school and then log back into work after they are in bed. I flex my time to take account of both business and family needs.

I am able to work from home when I need to although in practice I rarely choose to do so. My working relationships are trust-based and each member of my team is also able to work flexibly in a way that works for them and for the business.

How long within current firm?

10 years.

How long have you been working flexibly?

7 years.

How long have you worked within the industry?

16 years.

How long between application and grant?

A month or so. Last year I increased my contracted days from 4 to 4.5 in response to business needs so the flexibility works both ways.

Was this your first application?

Yes.

What are the positive outcomes from your decision to work flexibly?

Being able to work flexibly makes a huge difference to how I feel about my role and the organisation. I know that I am assessed based on my performance and my output rather than how many hours a day I am seen to be sitting at my desk, and I greatly value that from a cultural perspective.

Being able to drop my children at school twice a week and knowing that the vast majority of the time I can get to end of term assemblies and sports days etc because I am trusted to organise my time and deliver what is expected of me accordingly matters hugely from both a personal and an organisational perspective. I am happier for spending the time I need with my family and more committed to my employer for them demonstrating a forward-thinking, trust-based attitude towards its employees.

Are there any negative outcomes from your decision to work flexibly?

Working “part-time” can definitely feel like putting in all the hours for less pay sometimes! My job is full-time but my contract is not. However, the flexibility that I have is worth more to me than any extra pay would be and I would not swap one for the other.

Any other words of advice?

As someone seeking any sort of flexibility at work, be honest about what you are looking for and what you think it will mean in practice. Consider the impact on others and be prepared to have mature, transparent conversations about what is and isn’t feasible or palatable. Consider trial periods if need be so that you can demonstrate that working flexibly does not negatively impact on your performance and delivery. Start from a position of trust and remember than flexibility should work both ways.

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