COVER STORY THE FLEXI SET HOW WE DO IT THE FULL-TIME FLEXER
You might think flexible working is little more than authorised skiving, but finds it is quite the opposite
‘There’s a stereotype that flexible workers sit at home all day in their pants not really doing much,” says Emma Gannon, 29, who, as the bestselling author of a book on the topic, as well as host and creator of a hugely successful podcast, Ctrl Alt Delete, is pretty much the poster girl for flexible working. But, the woman whose work schedule includes broadcasting, writing and charity work, who is always fashionably turned out in trademark black glasses and red lips, says: “For me, the opposite is true. At times I’m the busiest I’ve ever been.”
She’s also more productive and healthier, she says. This backs up recent findings from University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, which suggest that a three-day weekend could be the key to making workers happier, and simultaneously achieve more. ( The idea is so seductive that last week John Mcdonnell, the shadow chancellor, said Labour might even offer a four-day week to voters in an attempt to win the next general election.)
And although she’s certainly not bragging about it, when pressed Gannon says she’s earning about three times the amount she did when she worked for The Man. “I am able to work on different projects with different people, which means that I’m not capped, in terms of what I want to achieve, or on what I can earn.”
All this is why she’s part of a hugely growing trend among workers of all ages and backgrounds to shun the nineto-five and work more flexibly – a term that includes any pattern that isn’t the “normal” Monday to Friday working week, including job sharing, compressed hours and working from home.
A recent study by Timewise, a recruitment consultancy specialising in part-time work, and Deloitte, found that 63 per cent of full-timers now work flexibly. A further nine million want to, but currently can’t. According to new research by workspace provider
JOB: FULL-TIME MEDIA PLANNER AND BUYER AT MEDIACON; INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY PLAYER HOURS PER WEEK: 40