First flexible working festival for Scotland

Nikki Slowey co-director at Family Friendly Working Scotland

SCOTLAND’S first ‘festival’ of flexible working to help businesses harness the power of flexible working will take place in January 2020.

Research by Family Friendly Working Scotland shows that nine in ten (87%) Scottish business leaders who offer flexibility say it’s good for business (1). But there are many more employers want to be more flexible but don’t know where to start.

Tackling this conundrum head-on, Family Friendly Working Scotland will host Scotland’s inaugural FlexibleWorkFest – on Thursday 30 January 2020 at Whitespace in Edinburgh.

Attendees can explore how workplace innovation, such as embracing flexible working, makes employees happier and businesses prosper through TED-style big conversations and panel discussions involving award-winning organisations that already work flexibly.

Sessions with experts from organisations including Barclays, Arnold Clark, City Building and CIPD include:

·       Healthy, happy employees – how to get it right

·       The four-day working week and why it works

·       Flex in non-office jobs and sectors – it can be done

·       What millennials really want from work and how to deliver it

AvivaDeloitte, Quorum Network Resources and Pursuit Marketing will also be sharing their business journeys and giving examples of best practice that create engagement with employees and drive business growth.

Nikki Slowey, co-director at Family Friendly Working Scotland, said: “The benefits of flexible working in terms of productivity, staff recruitment and retention and reduced sickness absence are well documented. This combined with changes to our workforce with increasing numbers of working parents and those caring for elderly relatives as well as rising mental health and wellbeing issues, means employers are increasingly turning to flexible working to help them face the challenges of a modern responsible businesses.

“We often hear from employers who are interested in becoming more flexible but don’t know practically how to take things forward.

“We hope our inaugural FlexibleWorkFest will give these employers the chance to learn how peer organisations are implementing and normalising flexible working and what kind of impact this is having on their workforce and the business itself.”

The Times, Scotland, is the main event partner and editor Magnus Llewellin will be sharing his thoughts on the subject of increasing flexible working opportunities, particularly within the media.

He said: “I’m proud to be speaking at FlexibleWorkFest and sharing how flexible working helps us shape the new media landscape. With a previous reputation for long hours within our sector, we have had that lightbulb moment and now embrace work-life balance as a real driver of output.”

Shelley Kerr, head coach for the Scotland Women’s National Football Team, will also speak at the event. She led the team in its recent World Cup campaign and exemplifies how parenthood needn’t be a barrier to professional success.

She said: “Flexible working isn’t just about mothers, it’s about inclusivity and making sure we aren’t letting hard-working, capable employees slip away. I can’t wait for FlexibleWorkFest to hear other real-life success stories of work-life balance.”

Former BBC presenter, Abeer McIntyre, will compere the event, which also includes entertainment, laughter yoga, as well as sensational street food and drinks.

City Building, Arnold Clark, CIPD, HRC Recruitment and ILF Scotland (Independent Living Fund) are also supporting and sponsoring the event.

Early-bird tickets are on sale for now for a limited time at £90+VAT. Tickets include street food lunch and post-event networking drinks. For more information visit

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