Ute Barrett

Here, Ute provides some information and advice about her flexible working arrangement…..

What is your current work pattern?

Normally 9am to 5pm, full-time but I work flexibly without a pre-arranged plan depending on any emergencies. For instance, I have the option to work from home as much as I can if my work allows (i.e. if I don't have any meetings) and I can arrange meetings around my dependant's requirements if possible.

What are your reasons for working flexibly?

I have dependants with severe health issues.

Can you explain the benefits of working flexibly and the impact on your work-life balance?

Working flexibly has had a very positive impact on my work-life balance because it allows me to care for my child adequately and also fulfil my role in the School to the highest standard simply by giving me more flexibility in terms of where and when I work.

Can you explain any challenges you have experienced in working flexibly?

Sometimes it is a little stressful when my days are very full or there is an emergency regarding my child. But the fact that I can carry on with my work and haven't been forced to reduce my contracted hours as part of my post has made this less stressful than it could be.

How has the School of Psychology & INP supported you in adopting your flexible working pattern?

The School has been extremely supportive and understanding regarding my situation.  Everything was handled by my line manager, the Deputy Head of School and the Director of Learning and Teaching directly and without any fuss or difficult bureaucratic hurdles to overcome which significantly reduced my stress levels.   I also feel that my colleagues are all extremely supportive of me and everyone literally rallied around me and made sure we could still work as efficiently and effectively as before.  

What advice would you give to somebody who would like to request a more flexible working pattern?

My advice would be to go to their line manager and discuss their situation with their line manager and the Deputy Head of School and I can assure them that they will be met with a lot of understanding and every effort will be made to find an effective and supportive solution.