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“Flexible working shouldn’t just be for returning mothers”

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WorkJuggle was founded by Ciara Garvan in 2016 after spending one hour too many stuck on the M50 racing home to pick up her kids after work.
Largely focused on tech roles, WorkJuggle connects skilled professionals with flexible work – be it contract, part-time or remote – and urges companies to move away from pre conceived notions of what flexibility should look like.

 

When and why did the idea for WorkJuggle come about?

WorkJuggle was very much driven from my own experience. I happily took voluntary redundancy after the birth of my third child. After being at home for a few years though I wanted to get back into the workforce but it was impossible to find out information about which companies supported flexible or remote working. Eventually I did find a role, but the commute was a killer. I spent many an hour on the M50 racing back to pick up the kids thinking there had to be a better way. WorkJuggle was a lightbulb moment in one of those never-ending traffic jams.

 

Companies who are doing this well build their flexibility around what the candidate wants rather then a pre conceived notion of what flexibility should look like.

 

What type of Tech roles are most in demand and what is the most sought after arrangement for companies in terms of flexible working?

In terms of certain hard skills like software development and java programming candidates are very much in the driving seat. The squeeze on talent means organisations are increasingly looking for ways to attract and retain top people. The type of flexible working on offer very much depends on the size of the organisation. Large multinationals are very comfortable with remote working on a part time or full time basis. For global organisations you may be working with people outside of your own time zone so the 9 o’ clock start may be irrelevant.

Companies who are doing this well build their flexibility around what the candidate wants rather then a pre conceived notion of what flexibility should look like. And when you think about it, that makes sense; flexibility means very different things to different people. For some people it may be attractive to work four day per week for others it is working remotely a couple of days a week.

 

At WorkJuggle we run re-entry workshops which help women prepare themselves for going back into the workforce.

 

How does WorkJuggle support and champion women in tech?

As someone who had worked in Technology for many years before setting up WorkJuggle I am a huge supporter of women in technology, simply because I have lived it and seen the benefits.

At WorkJuggle we run re-entry workshops which help women prepare themselves for going back into the workforce. After a few years out it can be daunting to say the least so being in a supportive group and taking time out from the busyness of family life to think about what you are really looking for can be very powerful.

We also work with large organisations to help them manage their diversity pipeline. As we know the candidates and the organisations well we can help be part of the solution that way.

We are also really happy to put a spotlight on the companies we work with that are serious about diversity in tech and letting candidates know that they are out there. It doesn’t have to be the black hole of information it was only a few years ago.

 

What are the next steps for WorkJuggle?

We are really enjoying growing our business. In particular it is very satisfying when we have  repeat customers coming back to us and spreading the word about the high caliber of candidates we have. We started out with an initial focus on tech roles but are following the market and are now working with Marketing, Finance and HR roles as well.

 

What do you see as the key trends for flexible working in Ireland in 2018? 

In many ways the conversation is just starting. I think people will become more comfortable asking for and expecting flexible work. Particularly if they have flexibility with their current employer it will be expected to be part of the package at their next employer. I am really looking forward to flexible working being part of the normal way of doing things, for both men and women, rather then a shameful secret reluctantly given to returning mothers in the workplace. I’d like to think those days are coming to and end.

 

For more information visit https://workjuggle.com

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