Juggling work and family requires a lot of effort from employees. But there’s plenty employers can also do to make it easier for them to achieve this balance. Arta Markaj and Martin Schär from PostFinance talk about the practical benefits they enjoy. In 2020, the financial services provider was awarded the “Family AND Work” label for the second time. This quality label is awarded to companies with family-friendly employment and working conditions.
Juggling work and family successfully – we hear from two employees
How do you successfully manage the demands of both work and family life? Two PostFinance employees talk about the model they have chosen and how their employer supports them. PostFinance was awarded the “Family AND Work” label for the second time in 2020.
Arta Markaj: “In the ‘magic triangle’ between work, family and personal needs”.
Arta Markaj is Business Customer Sales Team Leader at PostFinance and has three children aged between two and a half and six and a half. She works full time, her husband part-time. “It was clear to us from the very beginning that the parent who earns less should take on a greater share of the childcare,” she says. While her husband initially worked just a few part-time hours, he has since upped this to 50 percent. From an organizational point of view, exceptionally good planning is one of the key things for them as a couple. “We sit together every Sunday evening and sort out who has commitments on which evenings and how we’re going to organize ourselves. It’s almost like a team meeting,” explains Arta Markaj. Her mother also helps them out regularly with childcare. Every day is organized down to the last detail. Of course, it’s a challenge for them to meet the demands of family and work and not to overlook their own needs in the process. “I’m always moving in this ‘magic triangle’ of project management. Often it's not possible to satisfy all demands equally in a given week – but then I see that I can make up for it over the next few days.” The flexible working hours offered by PostFinance help her do this. “Having these sorts of freedoms takes a lot of pressure off,” she stresses. However at the same time, she is also prepared to carry out special assignments outside office hours. This, she says, is part of the mutual commitment. Good employment conditions, which include 18 weeks of maternity leave or the purchase of additional holidays, are, according to Markaj, very helpful in balancing work and family life. “But above all, it’s the openness, trust, and understanding – especially from my managers and my team – that I get from all sides.” And for her that’s something she really appreciates: “I love my family more than anything, and I really, really like my work. Each gives me energy for the other.” And so ultimately everyone in the ‘magic triangle’ benefits.
Martin Schär: “I have never missed an important appointment with my children”
Martin Schär is Market and Product Manager at PostFinance. He has two small daughters aged two and a half and four and a half and – like his wife – works to a 60 percent workload. “For both of us it was clear from the outset that we would split the work and childcare 50:50,” he says. One day a week the grandparents look after the children. To put this model into practice, Martin Schär looked for a new job and was successful at PostFinance. “I was able to take on a job that is exciting in terms of the role itself, matches my qualifications and is paid accordingly well. And that’s not a given with a part-time job.” He works three fixed days at the office, and four days he can spend with his family. This model, he explains, works very well for him and his wife. “It is fairly relaxed and helps us understand one another better: we’re both familiar with both sides of things.” They would never have considered a ‘classic’ model such as “the man works 80 to 90 percent hours and the woman reduces to 40 percent”. He explains: “We also have the advantage that we’re both on similar wages, so we did not have to be guided by financial considerations.” Instead, the focus was on the fact that they both wanted to spend time with the children, but also pursue exciting careers. What he appreciates about PostFinance as an employer is not just the interesting work, but also the opportunity to organize his own schedule thanks to flexible working hours. “I’ve not yet missed any important appointments, such as parent-teacher meetings at nursery or check-ups with the doctor,” he points out. When his second daughter was born, he also took the opportunity to purchase additional holiday so he could be with his young family for those first days. At PostFinance, the balance between work and family life is anything but a paper tiger: “It’s firmly embedded in the culture. So it goes without saying that not everyone is in the office five days a week. And that is taken into account.”
About the “Family and Work” label
The “Family AND Work” label is awarded by the expert body UND to companies that successfully implement measures to facilitate balance between work, family and private life and promote equality between women and men. The distinction is a quality label for companies and organizations with family-friendly working and employment conditions. PostFinance received the label for the second time in 2020. The distinction is awarded by the UND.