Spotlight Sunday: Pukka Power
Anna Whitehouse, aka Mother Pukka, has more strings to her bow than just journalist, editor, mother, fashionista. Previously the Vice Editor at Time Out Amsterdam, she now writes for Shortlist Media alongside her blogging/vlogging empire: Mother Pukka. A portal for news, events, reviews, and honest comment for people who happen to be parents. But in addition to all these strings, she has now started campaigning. Her manifesto reads as an ideal dream for working parents, but its more than just families that will benefit.
Anna initially grabbed our attention with her non-judgemental approach to infant feeding but she had us hooked with her sisterhood solidarity:
“If you’re into breastfeeding/ bottle feeding/ Instagram feeding who cares as long as you can look someone in the twitching peepers and feel less alone in this veritable minefield. (A minefield that you’ve had no formal training to navigate, with no colleagues and no stationery cupboard. Way harsh)”
Speaking to both our inner cheerleader and our desire to support mamas we were excited to don the lycra and get behind her in Glasgow to pull some moves for her latest venture, #flexappeal. A campaign that taps into that sisterhood solidarity with some seriously flexy dancing and chants to push for a better work/life balance for us and future generations.
Dressed in a bright orange flex appeal t-shirt, jazzy leggings and shocking blue sneakers, Anna rocked up a tad late but looking every inch the flexy Mother Pukka she is. Despite hurricane Dorris’ best efforts to derail the shenanigans, it was on for north of the border. After taking us through the moves, she went around the room speaking to every mama. She wanted us to know why it was important, what it all meant.
Nearly 9 million UK workers want flexible hours, and most have the right to request it. So why don’t they? Because in the UK, employers are not forth coming with the flex (understatement). It’s daft because flexible working means happier staff, lower costs and greater productivity. It’s good for people and it’s good for business. UK staff work longer hours than the French, the Germans, the Scandinavians and the Dutch, but are less productive than all of them. Flexible working doesn’t mean working less or slacking off, it means finding hours that suit your life.
The Business Case for Flexible Working
For most businesses, the two main costs are: People and Property. Flexible working lets employers lower the cost of the latter, by having fewer employees in the building at one time.
8.7 million people want flexible working but only 6% of advertised jobs, with a salary greater than £20,000, offer it.
This argument has become as undeniable as the case for climate change: 81% of senior managers believe flexible working improves productivity. Three in five people who work flexibly put in more hours as a result of being allowed to do so. Another report found that 72% of businesses reported increased productivity as a direct result of flexible working.
Sounds like a no brainer to us. So with the statistics in our minds and the sound of flex baby in our hearts we trotted off to George Square to shout loud and proud about flex. When the dust settled, and the numerous lycra clad mamas began to ebb away, we managed to get another five minutes with the mama of the moment. Grandmother Pukka had made a special request; Anna eats healthily whilst on tour. We had it covered, a box of carrot sticks to nibble on the train through to Edinburgh for the afternoon flexing sesh. As it turns out, the sticks were binned in favour of Percy Pigs, sorry Grandmother Pukka – you can take a horse to water….
By Kate and Rosie in collaboration with Mother Pukka
Learn more about the Pukka empire and get on board with #felxappeal