Cloudreach: being one step ahead for working parents
This morning my son woke up ill.
Before working for Cloudreach, this would have meant phoning in my absence for the day, leaving colleagues in the lurch and (possibly) being in the boss’ bad books.
But not now! I’m a guilt-free Mum and a full-time employee who works for a company leading the way in providing working environments that support working parents, whilst also improving productivity and commitment.
So, how do they do it?
The Right Tools
Firstly, you need the right tools. At Cloudreach, every new starter is given loads of cool Swag (backpack, t-shirt, water bottle…) but most importantly their own MacBook and mobile phone which allows everyone to work from anywhere simply by tethering.
I’ve tested this scenario to the max – on the train, waiting in (long!) lines at school parent evenings and outside the hospital (ok, that was a bit extreme – but you get the idea!). What this means is that on the days you really need to, you can work as effectively from home as you would from the office.
Some might argue that so much more can be achieved by working face to face, and I’d totally agree, your average communication is largely made up of body language (55% according to Albert Mehrabian 1971). So we stay in touch using video conferencing, and that way I don’t miss half the conversation! It took a while to get used to, but it’s been essential in establishing morale for my team who are based in our offices across the globe.
Flexible Working Hours / Working from Home
For this to work you need trust. A good line manager (luckily I have an excellent one!) will know you’re dedicated and have confidence in your ability to perform, whether you’re in their line of sight or not. As a parent, the flexibility to adapt my working patterns over the years to suit childcare needs has been priceless, and Cloudreach have been amazingly supportive and accommodating when considering my requests.
Of course, this works both ways, during my time at Cloudreach there have been projects that demanded extra input – overseeing the Head Office move in London, and various company events & get-togethers (which we do a lot!). I’m really proud of my team who work so hard during these busy periods, but I’m careful to make sure they redress any imbalance & take time for themselves.
It’s really hard not to sound like I’m gloating here, but it’s true! At Cloudreach we all have a little thing called ‘Uncapped Leave’, which is a lifesaver for things like inset days, so there’s no need to eat into your family holiday entitlement.
Respect the Individual
Respecting the individual and individuality is one of our core values, it encompasses how we value each other’s contribution to the company’s goals and the diverse composition of employees. Cloudreach is committed to promoting equal opportunities for everyone who works here and give them every opportunity to excel in their role.
And parents need flexibility.
Yes, your life changes with each little bundle of joy, but your career doesn’t have to, and it’s purely thanks to Cloudreach’s working practices that I’ve been able to go back to work full time.
The Way Forward
In this technologically mobile age, it’s great to see more professions starting to adopt some or all of these practices. Until we become more flexible in our working arrangements, boardrooms will continue to be misrepresentative of society, and we will be losing out on a hugely valuable, talented, engaged, loyal and skilled workforce.