"My family and my team provide me with a lot of strength and energy, which I then use in a positive way in my work and my time with Yaro. This then also impacts on my performance in the office."
What is your job at KPMG?
I have worked at KPMG for three and a half years and I am a Senior Manager in the Audit Corporates department in Zurich. In addition, I support the audit marketing and take care of the audit market presence within KPMG.
How many children do you have? How old are they? Does your partner also work?
My son Yaro was born in August 2020 and is now one and a half. Following her maternity leave, my partner returned to work – she is a manager at a communications agency – working 60% and increased that later to 80%. I also work 80%.
What is your “flexible working arrangement”?
As my partner and I both work 80%, we are always able to look after Yaro on two days of the week. I do it on my day off, and my partner takes care of him on her day off. He goes to a daycare center nearby on the other days.
In terms of your everyday life as a family, what does a “normal” working day look like?
I always get up at 6 am so I can be in the office at around 7 am – that includes time for my morning routine. Getting to the office early means that I can get the most important things done without being disturbed. I use this quiet time effectively, organize various commitments and coordinate my team. I always try to pick up my son from daycare promptly at 6:30 pm. My partner and I coordinate with each other during the afternoon if something crops up for one of us. That way, we make sure there’s always someone there to collect Yaro.
Once I get home, I cook for everyone so that we can have dinner between 7 and 7:30 pm. Before Yaro goes to bed, there’s the obligatory looking at books together, playing on the indoor slide, if needed, or listening to music on the Toniebox (Yaro’s favorite song is currently “Hängs i dä Badi” by Laurent & Max). Then Yaro goes to sleep and my partner and I discuss childcare arrangements for the next few days. Any work that’s had to be put off during day then gets caught up on and taken care of in the evening.
How does your “flexible working arrangement” help you to fulfill your role as a father?
Without question, being able to work 80% helps me a great deal in my role as a family man. What also can’t be underestimated is the trust that KPMG puts in its employees in accepting that work doesn’t have to be done “9 to 5” in the office, but can also be done flexibly from home. The flexible working model also enables me to switch quickly to working from home if my partner has a diary clash on her day off, so I can help her to look after Yaro.
What challenges does this way of working present?
I’d prefer to focus on the help it offers than on any challenges. My family and my team provide me with a lot of strength and energy, which I then use in a positive way in my work and my time with Yaro. This then also impacts on my performance in the office. My job is demanding, but it gives me a lot of pleasure, and I then take that feeling back home with me every day.
Has there ever been a critical situation where you’ve had to prioritize your family over your work? How did your team help you?
As Yaro goes to daycare, the days when he is fit and healthy are easier than those when he’s unwell. Fortunately, we have avoided getting coronavirus so far, but if the childcare situation ever became critical, we could always count on the support of my mother-in-law and my team. My colleagues wouldn’t hesitate for a second in a situation like that and would quickly arrange among themselves to deputize for me.
What is your recipe for a “good work-life balance”?
Always do what makes you happy! I am fortunate that I am energized not just by my family but also by my work, and I am them able to bring that energy back home to my family. However, I also think it’s essential to show tolerance toward your environment, your child and your partner.
What do you value most about KPMG’s flexible working model?
Generally speaking, I really enjoy working with other people, so I always look forward to going to the office. I also greatly appreciate that I have been able to reduce my working hours since Yaro was born and still keep my job. This flexibility is also made possible by our IT equipment, as you’re not tied to one location and can work from anywhere.