Parent Friendly Workplace

Jun 2, 2020 | Company News

Developing ways to support staff on the homefront keeps employees happier, more engaged, and more productive at work, which is always good for business

“Developing ways to support staff on the homefront keeps employees happier, more engaged, and more productive at work, which is always good for business”, says GWE Director, Gareth Williams.

At GWE, we have come to learn that supporting working parents isn’t just about helping the new mum as she eases back from maternity leave. For most parents, raising a family is a minimum 18-year journey that at times will undoubtedly involve a caring employer. “Each family is unique and the assistance we provide staff (mums and dads) can come in a variety of ways, being flexible is key,” says Gareth.

Supportive Culture

Gareth recalls, “when I started the GWE business 9 years ago our children were young and when they needed assistance, I found it really beneficial to be able to respond quickly and sort out any issues as soon as they arose. I decided then, that as the firm grew, I would create a parent-friendly culture that supports the needs of our staff.

Supportive policies aren’t worth much if employees don’t feel they can fully use them. At GWE, our workplace culture empowers managers to accommodate parents who need flexibility and this caring approach has been proven to create a more inclusive and engaged workforce.

Flexible Work

Allowing parents at GWE to adjust how they work is the way we support employees juggling a job and family. Our experience has shown that parents with young children find the options of part-time, flexible hours and remote working very helpful.

Working part-time can make a mum or dad to a new-born more comfortable returning to work. Flexible hours or changing start and finish times, gives parents the ability to manage day-care schedules or school drop-off and pick-up times and also attend special events like a school’s sports day or a camp. And, periodically allowing employees to work remotely helps them avoid traffic congestion or commuting, which is time they can use more wisely, be it taking care of children or working more effectively.

Gareth concludes, “a parent-friendly culture can reduce stress related to family matters and help employees get closer to that work-life balance we all seek.”

For interest, we have added feedback from some of our staff about our Parent-Friendly Workplace:

Patrick, Wastewater Manager

Since our son arrived last year GWE has been supportive the whole way through. By making use of technology and having easy lines of communication between teams our flexible work practices have ensured that I can spend as much time with him as needed.

Having like-minded colleagues within the team also helps as we can share advice, milestones and mishaps! We can also appreciate where other people may have personal needs like childcare obligations, so there are no funny looks when one of us needs to leave early (or maybe arrives late!).

Amanda, Project Support Coordinator

As a working parent it can often feel as if you are always letting someone down, your children or your employer, leaving you feeling stressed and always on the run. It’s amazing to be able to work part-time for a family orientated company that alleviates this stress by giving me the flexibility to drop the kids at school, pick them up, attend after school activities and sports events and then complete any missed working hours where they fit in with my family life. 

GWE has also enabled me to work remotely in the school holidays on flexible hours which means being able to spend quality time with the kids and still complete my work when needed. This newfound flexibility, and knowing it is genuinely supported, has actually changed my life and that of my family. The alleviation of my stress and anxiety from feelings of guilt as a mother and worrying about ‘part-time working mother’ colleague perception has meant I can fully focus on my role at GWE. I can enjoy the mental stimulation, pride and sense of achievement gained from working and GWE gets a happy, productive employee who as a busy parent is well versed in time management, multi-tasking and the need for efficiency.

Joli, Environmental Engineer

I am fortunate to be part of an organisation that understands the challenges faced by working mums and recognises the need for flexible working arrangements. Returning to work after my second child was quite daunting. Nonetheless, GWE has since day one provided an accommodating environment through flexible hours and working remotely. An atmosphere that has been positive and conducive to productivity. Working with other like-minded mums (and dads) has also provided for a great support network.