Flexible working at EY: Caitlin Hartley

Caitlin Hartley is an Assistant Director in Indirect Tax and she has a formal home-working arrangement. She tells us below how she makes it work.

What is your flexible working pattern?

I work full-time in a formal homeworking arrangement.

How long have you worked flexibly?

6 and a half years. 

Why do you work this way?

I was originally based out of the Leeds office, which is an hour’s travel away from where I live. With three young children, it saves the two hour travel out of my day. My husband is a full-time dad, so I am not involved in the day-to-day care of the children, but it really helps us to have each other’s’ back. 

How do you make it work professionally?

I have a dedicated office at home, so I’m not working at the kitchen table! Web conference calls are an invaluable resource, as there’s nothing that can’t be done using a phone these days. I usually work an 8-4 day in line with the European working hours of my team as well as school hours, and then can do a couple of hours’ work in the evening if necessary. If I have school commitments on with the children, I rearrange my lunch hour to accommodate this and my team are very open to this informal flex. 

How did you go about arranging flexible working?

I worked in a team that was largely based in London, so being based in the Leeds office, I didn’t have the same team visibility as the others in the first place. After I returned from maternity leave for my second child, I approached my counsellor to see if it would be a possibility, as there would be no client-facing visibility lost to the team. 

What are the benefits?

I find that working from home has made me much more focused, and much more output-orientated as well. The onus is on me to keep myself productive and to make it work. I actually find it far more distracting working from the office on the few times a year that I go into Leeds or London because I can’t switch off the noise!