Jean Meehan is our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Administrator, and has been working flexibly since January 2016.
Jean works compressed hours; where her 35 hours a week are spread over four longer days instead of five. She explains how this helps her achieve a good work / life balance: “I requested flexible working to allow me to look after my grandchildren one day a week primarily to help my son save on nursery fees.”
"Although I have a three year old in tow I can get those annoying jobs like dry cleaning, Post Office or going to the Bank done on Monday, which frees up Saturday morning. My husband has also been ill and off work on and off for a few years and it gives me more time with him.”
This arrangement also suits her team; Jean ensures anything due for a Monday is fully prepared in advance and she always books meetings Tuesday – Friday so she can attend. Plus, if anything comes in late, Jean is in early to deal with it and she is around out of hours if colleagues need to access the training room or to return keys.
Jean's colleagues know she doesn’t work on Mondays and allow for this when making requests. She has also swapped her day off on occasion when the need arose. Jean says: “the same amount of work is being done, and events, meetings and personal in-house training take place as they have always done, just not on a Monday.”
Flexible working has made a huge impact on Jean’s life and her commitment to Brunel: “I am working the same hours so do the same amount of work however with the improved work/life balance I think I am more engaged when I am here. Also, although I sit in a fairly small office, it allows you to work in a quieter atmosphere before the phones start ringing.”
And Jean’s advice to colleagues looking to submit a flexible working request – “Go for it! I know it’s not always viable in some Departments due to business needs but even compressing hours to work four and a half days could make a big difference.”