“I enjoy everything about my job,” says Helen Hutton, Human Resources Administrator at Bourn Hall Clinic Cambridge.
“As the Clinic has grown over the years my role has evolved and I now specialise in HR compliance ensuring we meet the standards of our regulatory bodies with regard to staff professional registrations and associated requirements. I also organise all new starters induction programmes which brings me into contact with new members of staff.”
Helen joined in January 2008 when her son, Oliver was two years old. She heard of a vacancy through friends who already worked at the clinic and was offered a part-time position. The five mornings a week fitted perfectly around her son’s nursery hours.
Helen says: “These hours suited my circumstances perfectly and allowed me to be there for my son when he finished nursery each day.”
“I’m the new starters first point of contact for arranging their first day and induction programme and I am happy to discuss any queries they might have,” says Helen. “We get some great feedback and it is lovely to know we’ve helped them settle in and feel part of the Bourn Hall family.”
Bourn Hall’s flexible approach has allowed Helen to adjust her hours according to changing family circumstances while at the same time progress within her career.
When her son started primary school Helen decided she would like to increase her hours to 30 hours over five days and discussed this with Bourn Hall’s Director of Human Resources, Nicola Graver. Helen wanted to increase her responsibilities but also to be available to drop-off and pick-up her son from school.
“Nicola was very supportive,” continues Helen. “She discussed various scenarios with me and asked what would work best. This culminated in a ‘win-win’ balance.”
In 2014 Helen gave birth to a baby girl, Pippa, and decided she’d like to take a full year’s maternity leave so she could spend this precious time with her new baby daughter, however, she was keen to keep in touch with work and her friends at Bourn Hall.
“I went to a few organised keep-in-touch days and an HR function meeting, which were really useful and kept me up-to-date. Although I wasn’t due to return until January, I was invited to the annual staff Christmas Party which was really lovely and I appreciated being able to catch up with everyone.”
“On return from maternity leave I reduced my hours so I now work three long days a week so I am still able to drop my son off at school and my mum does the picking up and looks after my daughter. Pippa thoroughly enjoys her time with ‘Nanna’ and her cousins, who mum also looks after. I get to spend two days at home with Pippa in term time and with Oliver too in the school holidays.”
Helen is full of praise for flexible working.
“My new hours work really well for me: I get time with the children and also the opportunity to concentrate on my work and stay on top of things. It works fantastically and has made such a difference to my work life balance.”