We understand flexible working because we do it too. In fact, does anyone in Firstline IT do a conventional 9 to 5 in the office?
We started looking seriously at the idea of flexible remote working a few years ago, when Oxford was suddenly, and most unusually, buried in snow. We staggered into the office, cold and wet, to find absolutely no sympathy at all from some of our clients. The weather wasn’t too bad where they were, and they couldn’t imagine what was getting us down.
We knew that the technology existed so started putting processes in place so that we could all, if necessary, work from home. When we practised it, we found it worked so well that we’ve built flexible working into our day-to-day practices.
We’ve already written about Rachael, who banks extra hours so that she can fit working around her family. She was inspired to do so by directors John and Nim, who both work flexibly themselves. John works one day a week from home, while Nim breaks up his day to improve a long commute.
He drives from London (where he lives) to the Oxford FirstLine IT offices early in the morning – going against the rush-hour traffic. Then he works in the FirstLine offices until lunchtime, when he heads for home again. Bluetooth technology means that he can catch up (safely) with calls while he is in the car, until he’s back at his desk at home mid-afternoon.
But if you think that Nim’s further away from Oxford than you imagined, you should read about Kevin – our man in Yorkshire.