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Working in Audit: Getting the balance right

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"Work life balance for our teams is all about flexibility and ensuring we judge people on their outcomes rather than their physical availability."

In Audit we embrace flexible working. Our people have a broad range of commitments and interests outside of the workplace, and we really value the excellent diversity that this brings us as One Team. All of our people, whether they work part-time or full-time, are given ownership of their time and are encouraged to manage their working week in the way that works best for themselves, the team and the business. This means we don’t necessarily expect our people to be at their desks, 9 – 5, Monday to Friday.

Most of our team are based in Swindon, where our office space has been designed with flexible working in mind, with project tables for audit teams to work together and brainstorm ideas, designated quiet areas for those looking to focus on independent work, and drop down desks for those who just want to check their emails between meetings. We also have people based in our Northampton and Bournemouth offices, and a small number of our team are home based. Everyone is provided with the technology to complete work remotely, whether from home or another area of the business – this means that regardless of where they are formally based, our people have the flexibility to work from whichever location works best for them and the team at any given time.

Have a look below to find out a bit more from some of our people about how our flexible working approach enables them to achieve a good work life balance:

Kathy, Deputy Chief Internal Auditor

I joined Nationwide two years ago now, having previously worked in a variety of finance roles in a range of industries. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children, Ben (15) and Zara (13). I’m a member of my local book club, which enjoys a good gossip and a glass of wine, and am currently training for a ‘moon walk’ with a group of friends. With my previous employers, I took the maximum length of maternity leave to have both of my children, Ben and Zara. I had a really positive experience of this, so I wanted to make sure that my next employer would have similar attitudes towards a work life balance, and I’ve definitely found this here in Audit at Nationwide. Whilst my previous roles at other organisations involved a lot of travel abroad, Nationwide is largely based in the UK which means I now spend very little time travelling, which is great for spending time with my family. By starting work early or working from home, I’m also able to better balance my time and can plan for home events, like parents evening or school shows.

Chris, Audit Senior Manager

I joined Audit at the start of 2016. Having recently adopted a 3 year old boy, the excellent feedback that friends had given me over Nationwide’s approach to flexible working was one of many reasons I joined, and first impressions haven’t disappointed! Our management team are very open to me working flexibly to make sure that I have time to get to the gym every day to stave off my crocked neck and yet get back to Bristol in time to see Dayton (our little man) before he goes to bed. If I have to get my laptop out again a bit later than that is fine with me and it seems to work for our team so far. As I’ve got a lengthy commute, I also value the chance to work from home for one day a week. Not only are those days a chance to have breakfast, lunch and tea with Dayton but having a day a week away from the M4 is great for my state of mind.

Emma, Audit Senior

I’ve worked for Nationwide for three years now. Maintaining a balance between my professional and my personal life has always been straightforward as the flexible working hours that Nationwide offers fit in perfectly with my commitments outside of work. I work three days a week, which allows me to look after my son and spend quality time with him. I’m also able to catch up with friends regularly and spend time with my family, which is really important to me. My husband and I are also doing our house up at the moment, so it’s all very busy outside of work!
The support that I received when I was away for fourteen months on maternity leave was fantastic. I really appreciated the fact that my Development Manager kept in regular contact with me while I was away and that HR always kept in touch via post with any news or updates that affected me. In addition, I received some gorgeous flowers from my department when my little boy, Arthur was born! Thanks to the support and guidance that I receive at work, I’m confident about meeting my career objectives that I’ve set myself.

Sophie, Audit Associate

I joined Nationwide as a temporary worker 7 years ago, working in our Bournemouth Administration Centre. I'm now an Audit Associate, and am classed as Dual Sited, which means my trusty laptop and I can work remotely from our offices in either Swindon or Bournemouth. Flexible Working is a refreshing culture to be a part of, and is really helped by Nationwide’s progression as a Digital Society, using video conferencing and teleconferencing to bring the team together. Outside of work, I enjoy everything that Dorset has to offer – sailing, horse riding, hiking, socialising in town or camping in the New Forest. Working in Audit at Nationwide has allowed me to progress my career whilst retaining my network of work colleagues and my hobbies outside of work, without the need to relocate my family away from Bournemouth.

Jane, Audit Senior

I joined Nationwide as a Complaints Governance Analyst in January 2014, which was a bit of a departure for me as I’d spent the previous 20 years on trading floors analysing a variety of investment types (from Japanese warrants to index-linked bonds). I've been an Audit Senior in Audit since November 2015. Outside of work, I have two sons (Henry aged 10 and William aged 4) and am married to Damian, who is a Commander in the Royal Navy. My main hobbies are baking and decorating cakes, which I do for a children’s charity here in Swindon; rugby - I support the mighty Bath and am membership secretary for the Chippenham RFC minis section; and scuba diving. With small children and a husband who is frequently away for long periods of time, I occasionally need to take time out during the 9-5 working day or work from home; however I know that, like the rest of GIA, I am considered to be a professional who can be trusted to manage my work commitments. GIA’s approach to flexible working has made a huge difference to my work life balance.

John, Audit Senior Manager

I've been at Nationwide for 3 years, having previously been an audit manager in the mobile industry and a directory Enquiries firm (the one with men and moustaches). I live in Wales so have a long daily commute to Swindon with the occasional horrid traffic problem. I'm also going through a child fostering case with Social Services. Flexible working in Audit lets me schedule my work so that I can have Swindon days for face to face meetings and then I can zip home to spend afternoon hours in meetings with various Social Services people or attend court if necessary. I can catch up with laptop based work in the evenings. Audit has also fully adopted mobility solutions like email on my phone, so I can keep in touch when I'm out and about. Working in Audit helps me to keep a good work/life balance through flexible working that I really appreciate.

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