Why this employee loves Vodafone’s family policies

Good flexibility and well-thought-out shared parental leave make the telecommunications company an impressive employer.

vodafone flexible working


Vodafone is one company that has embraced the flexible working mindset in the wake of the pandemic. They have a strong parental leave policy which offers all offers all non-birthing parents 16 weeks of fully paid leave, allowing for more equal caring responsibilities for both new parents. But what else are they doing? We spoke to Chris Parkinson, a Senior Government Affairs Manager at Vodafone UK, who has two young sons aged two and four months. 

Tell me how your job works from a flexibility perspective?

Following Covid, Vodafone introduced “Future Ready Working”: for some employees this means a blend of working from home for concentration tasks, and working from the office for collaboration. Our team speak every week to arrange the best days to be in the office, and when to work from home. It’s a level of flexibility we’ve never had before. The inherent trust in employees to manage their time properly is really empowering.

How did you find negotiating it with your line managers?

The whole team discusses our plans every week – it’s a discussion, not a negotiation. Having a balance between being at home and in the office has really helped with juggling work commitments and childcare. It won’t always be perfect, of course, but for employees like me the new system is far better than an assumption of five days in the office.

What has it allowed you to do from a family perspective?

We have childcare from Tuesday to Thursday, which are also the days we are most often in the office. This means I can usually be around on Mondays and Fridays in the morning before work, to help with nap time over my lunch break, and straight after finishing up to the kids’ bedtime.

How do you think it’s affected your productivity?

Working from home for a couple of days a week allows a lot more concentration, and getting into the office makes it so much easier to come up with new ideas with the team. On the days when I’m at home I’m saving two hours that would have been spent commuting which I can now spend helping out with the kids.

Why do you think more employers should promote flexible working practices?

If you treat people like adults, they behave like adults. The new way of working – on top of Vodafone’s paternity leave policy – has made me even more loyal to the business, and more determined to deliver for the business.

Read more:

Kevin Spindler of In The Book on running his business

How I changed my routine to stop bringing the office home

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