“Flexible working hasn’t held me back”
Jo Alderson, 35, from Pershore in Worcestershire, works four longer days a week in her role as Legal Director at law firm Pinsent Masons’ Birmingham office. This allows Jo to take Fridays off to help with her partner, Millie Benbow’s wedding photography business.
Since starting this flexible arrangement three years ago, Jo has been promoted twice within the firm.
She said: “Flexible working hasn’t held me back. In fact, it’s the reason I’ve progressed because it gave me renewed enjoyment and drive in my job. And knowing I’m only in four days a week definitely makes me more productive.
“Before, I felt totally over-worked. I was always working evenings and weekends. I was utterly exhausted. It was affecting my health and my relationship. I got to the point where I knew I was either going to leave, or do something significant to make work more manageable.
“My line manager already worked a four day week and was really positive about helping me find the right balance.
“It gives me the option to do the things I need to outside of work, whether that’s helping with my partner’s photography business or just taking the time for myself.
“I’m much happier with the set-up I’ve got now. I’m more in control of my life and work.
“There’s a different generation of workers coming through now who are demanding to work flexibly. They want a better work life balance.
“I’m not a mother or a carer but I’ve got these flexible arrangements in place because they allow me the life I want. There are a number of reasons people want to work flexibly and employers are increasingly open to it.”
Jo is also co-chair of the LGBT Network for employees at Pinsent Masons.