How would this work? Would people abuse the scheme? Wouldn’t it lead to capacity issues? I was so intrigued by this new initiative that I put myself forward to participate in the pilot scheme.
A little about me… I am Head of Legal and Commercial at Inzpire, a challenging and busy role that I enjoy immensely. Outside of work, however, I am often globetrotting with my son who is a champion Irish dancer. As a former professional Irish dancer myself and qualified teacher and adjudicator with the official Irish Dancing Commission, my son relies upon my support at major competitions. It has always been difficult, however, for me to make all of the trips necessary to support my son using the standard fixed annual leave entitlement. In previous employments, this has often involved me arranging ridiculous flight times so that I can make use of ‘half-days’ where possible so that I don’t exceed the maximum annual leave allowance. Understandably, therefore, I was keen to try this new innovative scheme.
So…have I only been at work for half of the past year? I’m afraid not! But it’s fair to say that the scheme has had a huge positive effect on my personal well-being and work-life balance. I no longer stare anxiously at the holiday calendar wondering how I can possibly fit everything in! I don’t have to race back to work for ’half-days’ when, from a work perspective, it is totally unnecessary. I feel more empowered in my role as I am being trusted to gauge working levels and decide whether it would be feasible to take annual leave at any given time.
Am I less productive in my role as a result? Quite the contrary! I am now able to work far more effectively and feel even more motivated to ‘do a good job’! I am more willing to go the extra mile when required as I know that when things quieten down, I will be able to take a well-earned break to recover however many days’ leave I have already taken during the current calendar year.
When I recently found out that the scheme was being rolled out across the company for 2017 I was of course delighted. I feel grateful to work for a company that is not stymied by convention and process, a company which truly looks after and values its employees and trusts them to take ownership over their role. It’s also a great talking point in the pub!
Me enjoying some downtime in sunny Pittsburgh!