Flexible working at JHW

Posted by Jo Hayes Ward on

Jo Hayes Ward jewellery is made to make women feel good. For us, that means the whole process of creating the jewellery should feel good too.  We believe in having a happy and fulfilled team. 

A big part of this is working flexibly, whether it’s because of having to fit work in around the school run, training for a marathon (or even Iron man like our Judith, seriously, she is amazing!), walking the dog, caring for a relative or just because 9-5 doesn’t fit in with life.  Everyone has different needs, we get that. 

All four members of our JHW team work part time and in whatever hours they like. Babies and toddlers sometimes join us at team meetings, we make work work around our lives and as a result we are all very dedicated to our jobs, we love what we do and we’re happy.  We believe it’s not necessary to be cut throat and ruthless to succeed. Which is a relief because we genuinely love chatting to our customers, helping them choose exactly the right piece, being part of their story. 

Flexible working. Photo credit: Jane Looker

We believe removing the constraints of a 9-5 office setting allows more space for creativity. For me, ideas pop into my head when I’m happiest, often outside in nature, and feeling inspired. Having the freedom of working around our families motivates me and the team hugely, which makes us very productive, and work really efficiently. 

Jo explains 'At the beginning I ran the business in the evenings and weekends while working for other jewellers and metalworkers. I also taught CAD (Computer Aided Design) to MA students at the Royal College - (yes I’m a CAD geek and proud, I still use it to design every single one of my pieces). I grafted to get the business off the ground and get it to the stage where I could give up my other jobs, then later adding 3 kids into the mix took a WHOLE lot more juggling, head scratching and creative thinking to work out how to balance work and family life. I took on help with administrative side of the business because I realised that I couldn’t do it all. Today my husband (a furniture designer who’s also self employed) and I share childcare which means we both work a mixture of day times, evenings and weekends. I’m so grateful that we don’t have to compromise family over work. I also expanded my team so that I now have a team of experts working part time to manage the office, the marketing & PR side of things and help with production, which enables me to stick to designing and chatting to customers as much as possible. Thankfully this works brilliantly for us all, it works for the business and it makes it really fun!' 

Jo and team x

Flexible working. Photography: Jane Looker


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