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Finding Flexible Working Around School Hours

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It’s the age-old question isn’t it – how do you balance a career along with flexibility to be a parent and to fit around the ever-changing school hours?

Daisy Chain was founded after numerous conversations at the school gates about that very topic – why is it that there are so many talented people with so much to offer that are not permitted to be working because they dared to have a child and, you know, want to pick them up from nursery or school?! The horror!

Louise Deverell Smith, the brainchild behind Daisy Chain, after the birth of her third child decided enough was enough and put her money where her mouth is and dedicated herself to showcasing the power and benefits of flexible working and name and shame those brands and companies that weren’t seeing its value. 

Daisy Chain was formed to offer a hub to match great people with great employers in order to achieve work/life balance for parents, and to eliminate the stigma that flexible working is somehow a code for non-commitment, lack of dedication or the hugely boring ‘norm’.

Louise has time and time again been banging the drum to showcase that actually having dedicated and talented people in a flexible working role can do nothing but add value to a business as they are driven, motivated and fully committed in the hours they are there. The ‘sat-at-a-desk, Monday to Friday, 9-5’ mentality and expectation is getting old news as being physically ‘there’ doesn’t necessarily constitute a huge level of productivity.

Since its inception in 2017, Daisy Chain now has more than 1000 parents and people seeking flexible working on its books and 500 employers and it’s growing all the time. She has received not one complaint about a placement or the employee’s dedication and output – funny that.

The future is flexible. It has to be. And the companies that don’t offer it or don’t understand its power are going to fall way behind.

There are some key spokespeople doing wonderful things in this arena – notably Mother Pukka, Women in Property, Pregnant then Screwed, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Women in Recruitment – all of which Louise has worked and collaborated with and Daisy Chain has managed to get big names such as the British Fashion Council and Changing the Face of Property on board with significant in-roads being made to raise the awareness and need for flexible working.

It seems that there is a light at the end of the school gate, even if you have to go looking for it, but change is happening with people like Louise championing it. More and more employers are getting on board the flexible working train and with proven positive results time and time again, this can only grow 

The power to ask for flexible working is a legal right and shouldn’t be shied away from – a lot of people need and want a work/life balance that works for them and they shouldn’t feel embarrassed, ashamed or undedicated to seek it.

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