When we launched the first Levy-funded Returners programme, supporting parents returning to work: The Leadership Accelerator programme, one of our aspirations was not just to support Mum’s returning from work after maternity leave, but to support Dad’s too. We worked with Mumsnet to better understand the role of all parents in the workplace and how companies like ours can support families where both parents wish to, or need to work. And then we put what we found out into practice.
Whilst it’s quite common for both parents to work, there are still plenty of reports today which cite women as taking on the primary role in the home and family, alongside high-pressured careers. A lack of options for Dads, mean that most work full-time and are less engaged in the household and familial issues.
Corndel is really proud of our mission to offer flexible working conditions to all of our staff, so that the Dads in our team can redress this balance. Chris Perry, Director of Software Engineering Partnership and DevOps, explains how his four-day week, working arrangement, has allowed him to take a bigger role in his household.
“I started working for Corndel two weeks after my second child was born. When my wife was ready to go back to work, we decided that we wanted to maximise the amount of time we spent with them and as much as possible share that role between us. The hardest part of this decision was working out between the two of us exactly how we wanted it to work.
Corndel was incredibly supportive throughout this process. Underpinning the Corndel culture is this ideal of balance between work life and home life. James (Corporate Development Director), my boss, was very empathetic, having a young family of his own. We agreed I could work 80% of the week (4 days) and take Thursdays off. I also work from home on Tuesdays so I’m around for nursery drop offs and pick-ups.”
Chris’s wife works three days and week and Chris works four, which means the kids have a parent looking after them for the majority of the week. This is how they wanted to raise their family. “This kind of benefit has become my number one priority. The impact is huge – I now have 50% more time with the boys than I would have had working and commuting Monday-Friday. I can do the park, zoo, café – all the fun stuff - but just as importantly we share the harder bits too.” Chris would recommend this benefit to anyone: “I’m not likely to get to retirement age and think ‘I wish I worked those Thursdays’, and I don’t want to be the Dad that wished he’d been around more.”
Too many companies don’t offer this kind of benefit. Those that do benefit from a highly engaged and loyal workforce. Our CEO, Sean Williams, explains: “If you trust people to do their job and you offer them the flexibility to balance their working lives with their home lives, both the company and that member of staff reap the benefits. Underpinning Corndel is this sense of balance – the work hard, play hard mentality. We bring the best people into Corndel and we want to keep them, so we help them to live the life they want to live. ”
“Partnering with Mumsnet and understanding the issues parents encounter, balancing their work and home lives has really cemented for us, how important it is to support our parent staff, whether they are returners or people wanting to work part time, flexible and remote. We are proud we can support people like Chris to get this balance. It was our vision when we first launched Corndel and remains a fundamental part of who we are today.”