Three women in Luxembourg have come together to found The Job Tailors, a company designed to help companies in the Duchy implement flexible work programmes that help those who struggle with family commitments and long commutes.
Ecuadorian Sabina Guerrero, Guatemalan Carolina De León, and German Linda Kaestner, had been friends in Luxembourg for some 9 years, when all three found themselves at a crossroads. Two of them were parents with children under 5 years old, and all were struggling with the responsibilities of work and home life.
“We sat down and came up with the idea of starting our own company. It was clear that we were not the only ones struggling with long hours, inflexibility and the feeling of being stuck in the office,” says Sabina.
Their brainchild – The Job Tailors – was born this year, with the motto “Putting people first”.
Lack of flexible work in the private sector
“We found that the Luxembourg government and the European institutions offer the most flexibility, but the private sector lags behind. We also discovered that a lot of expats, mainly spouses, have accepted the fact there are no flexible jobs, so there are a lot of highly educated and qualified people living in the Duchy who are currently not in work,” explains Carolina.
She points out that Luxembourg is growing as a business centre, with some 40% of the workforce living outside the Duchy, leading to congested roads and long hours on public transport. “Imagine if everyone worked from home at least one day a week,” she says.
The minimum of 40 hours per week and lack of flexibility leads to many people being dissatisfied with their work/life balance.
“Another eye-opening statistic is that 1 in 5 employees have suffered from burn out in the last 2 years,” says Linda, adding: “Recently published data from the chamber of salaries concerning the levels of employee satisfaction shows Luxembourg only ranks in the lower tier.”
All three women strongly believe that flexible work programmes are badly needed in the country.
Win-win situation for everyone
“We want to create a win-win situation for both companies and employees, reducing burnout and bringing a more human approach to work. Everyone wants to live life to the fullest,” says Sabina.
She goes on to highlight the issue for women returning to work after having children: “Unfortunately at the moment we see a lack of flexible jobs at all levels from junior to senior positions. Our aim is to challenge the status quo.”
The Job Tailors use a two pronged approach. The consultancy service helps companies implement flexible work programmes, while the recruitment service will specialise in finding the right candidates.
The trio offer different solutions to help guide companies through each step of implementing a flexible work programme, recognising that different business sectors and different sized companies will have different needs. To date they have built an exciting and strong network of collaborators and have approached innovative organisations in Luxembourg which are open to change and willing to consider flexibility at work.
“We’ve also noticed that recruiting for flexible positions attracts highly motivated people,” says Carolina.
Opportunities for teleworking
Aware that the Government has recently put in place regulation which protects teleworkers (some 6% of the working population in the Duchy) with the same rights as “usual” workers, the women plan to meet with different Government organisations like the Ministry of Economy, Transport and Family.
“Studies have shown time and time again that flexible work programmes lead to increased productivity, better employee wellbeing, less absenteeism and lower staff turnover. In a country which has more professional vacancies than candidates, flexible working must be the next step,” says Linda.
To find out more, visit www.thejobtailors.lu and contact Sabina (company consultancy service) or Carolina (recruitment).