Charities lead way when it comes to flexible working

Richard Madden’s piece about what commercial marketers can learn from charities (MW last week) was a refreshing change from the patronising and uninformed attitude I often come across when individuals from the commercial sector share their skills and knowledge with the charity sector as if the latter is staffed by unprofessional do-gooders.

I then turned the page and read the heartfelt letter from an anonymous reader highlighting the lack of flexible working options in the marketing industry. We in the charity sector have long realised that there are many talented people who simply do not want to work full time or commute to an office every day. Charities that have embraced more flexible ways of working have a far wider pool of candidates from which to recruit and as a result have been able to employ very effective staff.

It is the narrow minded manager who thinks that flexible working patterns are incompatible with good account management. In my experience of handling recruitment for a charity, I have never once had a client suggest the service they have received from me has suffered because I work part time – in fact, I would be surprised if many of them actually know that is the case.

Management by objectives and outcomes rather than by hours and location is all that is required. I look forward to seeing Marketing Week take up the gauntlet as suggested by last week’s letter writer.

Valerie Morton, fundraiser and consultant, Cambridgeshire

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