The creative agency has three offices in the UK and has been flagged as a company to watch by Great Place to Work. We checked out how it supports one of its working fathers.
Will O’Hara is the Digital Strategy Director at creative agency Rise at Seven. He lives just north of Manchester with his wife, their three boys and a miniature dachshund. We asked Will how his company helps working dads.
With the flexible working at Rise at Seven I’m able to drop my youngest kids at their school and start work from home just after 9am (two of our boys are still at primary and our eldest is in his second year at high school). I’m also able to pick them up from school around 3:30 and continue work while they’re getting on with playing or watching something at home. I head to the office on a Wednesday in Manchester for a ‘standard’ work day – but on Thursday I start later at the office after dropping the kids and then just work later that day instead. The ability to be at home for a portion of the week is easily the most beneficial element as it allows me to take our dachshund for a walk at lunchtimes and reduces child care costs (the kids would’ve had to go to an after school club otherwise).
We’re all less rushed and less frantic in a morning and the kids much prefer coming home rather than going to a club or childminder too – so they’re much happier. My wife is a teacher at a high school so obviously has no option to work from home or flexible times, so being able to do that means she doesn’t have to rush home to pick them up and can stay at school to mark books in her office, rather than doing that later at home.
It’s something that was outlined before I joined Rise at Seven so I already knew they were available – I discussed our needs in my interview so I was confident that the policies and options were going to fit well with our family life.
Everyone’s welcome on video calls – I’ve seen plenty of dogs and kids on them and it’s never an issue. I think there’s just a general acceptance that life happens and it’s a part of work, not 100% separate from it.
I think companies in the agency space maybe have a greater propensity to offer these types of policies, but I think a much larger section of the population now wants or expects them too. Before doing an office/home split I wouldn’t ever take the kids to school and it’s actually really good time to chat to them about their day – I wouldn’t change that now so a job that expected 5 days in the office wouldn’t appeal at all. Once all my kids are at secondary school it wouldn’t be as important I guess – but still good to spend less time on a commute and more time with them.