03 April 2020

Infineum’s open-minded approach to flexible working has made a real impact on our employees’ lives.

We caught up with some of our employees to hear about the difference work arrangements such as part-time, job-sharing and flexible work locations have made to their work-life balance.

Ben, a Technologist at our UK site, has worked for Infineum for nine years and wanted to work part-time to spend more time with his daughter.

“Reduced hours have let me share child care. I now spend every Monday with my daughter, giving us good quality time together,” explains Ben (pictured right with Lyra on a Monday museum trip).

Ben has managed workload and expectations accordingly. “It didn’t take my colleagues and customers long to adjust to the fact I don’t work on Mondays.”

Masayuki, a Technical Sales Account Manager based in Japan, works from home at least once a week which also helps him juggle work and home life.

His family expanded at the end of last year and he now takes his first child to and from nursery school (as pictured left) while his wife stays home with their new baby.

It’s a time-consuming trip and being able to work from home means he doesn’t always have a long work commute on top.

“My leader is absolutely supportive,” said Masa.

 

Finance Manager Stefania, based in Italy, actually credits Infineum for her slightly larger family pictured right!

“If I hadn’t been able to work part-time, I would not have had my third child. Flexible working contributed to my family growth.”

Stefi joined Infineum as a Finance Assistant back in 1998 and was a bit of a flexible working pioneer.

She went part-time when she had her first child in 2001 thanks to her former leader who was a strong supporter of working women.

“Twenty years ago, part-time in Italy was not common, but he granted such arrangements without creating difficulties,” she remembers.

Since then Stefi’s working hours have changed periodically to fit around her growing family, and her current team of direct reports is made up of four working mothers.

“Regardless of the times they work, they are determined and dedicated. They want to do their best while they are here.”

It is certainly harder to work flexibly in some roles, but even in our plants, it can be possible.

Morgan is now a Marketing Advisor, but worked flexibly, on an ad hoc basis, in her role as a Business Unit Leader at our North America Plant.

“The manufacturing environment demands attendance to manage day-to-day operations, especially during start-ups, plant trials, and complex activities.

However, when the plant is running at steady-state there is flexibility in certain roles to work around personal needs. This includes working from home and adjusting working times,” said Morgan (pictured left with her son).

"It allowed me to take care of important periodic personal matters and keep up with workload by working remotely or adjusting to finish the work day in the early morning or the evening.”

She admitted that sometimes there were unplanned events at the plant and her personal plans had to adjust to accommodate the urgency and priority of the manufacturing environment.

“However, my leader was always open to requests and at the same time expected that I made responsible judgements based on the state of plant at that time,” she added.

All those interviewed felt that flexible working was a big positive for the business as well as colleagues.

Ben said:

The flexibility Infineum has shown makes me feel that we really do care about our people, which makes me more motivated and committed

Morgan mentioned focus:

Allowing employees enough flexibility to manage the needs of their personal life enables more focus while at work and limits stress associated with trying to do it all

While Masa believes:

It helps us to retain precious resource and also increases productivity as working from home reduces very stressful commutes in Tokyo

Stefi concludes:

Infineum is a very open organisation and there are always good opportunities for colleagues who do their best and show talent

At Infineum, flexible working is an extension of inclusiveness and diversity, creating a culture where all employees are valued and can make a difference.

It doesn’t mean that it’s always possible to agree to requests, as each area of our business is different and business needs and local legislation must take priority, however, there are many roles across the company where mutually-agreed alternative working arrangements can be successful.

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