11 Mar 2019
Emma Jeffries has been recognised in the 2019 ‘Timewise Power 50 List’ The annual Timewise power list celebrates trailblazing managers who achieve phenomenal success while working part-time or flexible hours. Emma was named on the top 50 list in the 'Power Part-Timers' category for senior leaders. We had a chat with Emma to learn more about the benefits and challenges of part-time work, and why she believes businesses should embrace flexible working.
Firstly, tell us what you do at BT?
I lead the Broadband Portfolio in BT Enterprise's Customer Solutions. I'm responsible for delivering complex programmes that ensure the right customer experience is designed, trialled and deployed. This role covers a customer base of over 10 million people across the UK. I also head up the Robotics Process Automation (RPA) team. We work with technology that allows virtual robots to complete simple human processes to free up people to focus on other value-added work and deliver a great customer experience.
Two big roles! How do you manage your workload while working part-time?
It's not always easy. I need to make sure that I'm always adding value and working in a way that delivers maximum quality and output. I do this by continually assessing working practices and styles, and implementing improvements to ensure I'm effective and can support my teams.
How has working part-time benefited your life, inside and outside of work?
Thanks to the forward-thinking attitude of my managers and the business, I've not had to choose between a career and my family. This is incredibly important to me, as I value both equally. I've been fortunate to work in areas of the business that have created an environment where I'm valued based on my outcomes and I'm not constrained by the hours I work.
Why is it important for businesses to embrace flexible working?
Supporting part-time working and other forms of flexible working is key to helping us as a business to retain great talent while supporting our employees' work-life balance.
We have some exceptional people in our business that carry out demanding and senior level roles whilst working part-time or flexible hours. Do you have any words of wisdom for them?
Working part-time can be challenging, especially in a managerial role; however with the right discipline, rigour and flexibility it can work very well.
You'll need to be prepared to be flexible and, at the beginning, it can take some adjustment as you don't have the luxury of 'warming up' or 'winding down' at the start/end of a week. You really need to hit the ground running and maintain your pace throughout your working week to make sure you're effective.
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