Dolly may have made the phrase famous but is working 9-5 all it’s cracked up to be?


Flexible working- a new world of possibilities or an employer’s nightmare!

With the recent change in legislation and more prominently for me an introduction of a new little man in my life, I have been forced to look at my career and work life balance. I knew that I wanted to return to work and continue my career after having a baby but I also knew that going straight back to five days a week 9-5 may be a step too far (he didn’t sleep!).

Cue Mackerel Sky …..

I joined Mackerel Sky and soon learnt that flexible working was the norm and a key factor to growth and development (as individuals and as a company). As an event management company the hours we operate are rarely 9-5 and so flexible working seemed to be a logical move.

I understand the thought of flexible working practices may cause headaches for some employers depending on the industry and it may not be a viable option for all, but if embraced it can allow them access to talented and skilled people that may not previously have been available to them (those unable to work the traditional 9-5, 40 hour week).

I’m not saying that flexible working is a seamless, easy to manage progression for everyone. It can certainly have its issues and I think there is a fear that suddenly everyone is going to want to work flexibly, that human resource departments are going to be inundated with requests and that there is going to be a huge rise in disgruntled employees having their requests turned down. In reality I doubt this is going to be the case.

I’m not going to dwell on all the potential pitfalls of flexible working but I am talk about what my biggest concern was when adopting the practice. I like to be involved and feel like part of a team and I worried that there may be a lack of communication and cohesion and that morale may suffer. From previous experience a lack of communication is a problem that faces a lot of organisations whether large or small, employees feeling left in the dark; a problem that could be exacerbated with more flexible working practices. However we have taken measures and made investments in technology to help improve communications within the company and with our clients and it works well.

I love working here, I feel very much part of a team and remote and flexible working is having a really positive impact on our company. It has helped us to evolve. Employees are able to work virtually, we can stay open for longer, travel further all whilst managing the work/life balance, very important factors in running an (happy) event management company.

Holly Patton, Operations Manager, Mackerel Sky


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