15 Jun 2017 09:55:52 PM

For this EY Partner, Flexible Work Arrangements are key to work-life integration

Flexible Work Arrangements stories are mostly on women. What about the men?”
EY Partner of People Advisory Services, Low Choy Huat muses as he shares his own story about how adopting Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) enabled him to practice work-life integration in managing his family, career, and passions.

With over 23 years of work experience in the advisory line, Choy Huat has consulted on various FWA projects, and has seen first-hand how FWA policies benefit organisations.
My role has always primarily been client-facing and problem solving. Crises and work situations can happen at any time, any day. Fortunately the companies that I have been with, including EY are forward-thinking, with policies that respect flexibility at work.”
These policies have allowed me to be a dad and husband that my family needs,” says the father of two.

With both his children now in their teenage years, Choy Huat reveals that he manages to fulfil his multiple roles, by ‘blending’ together client management, family time, and his favourite pastime.
Sometimes I cycle in the morning with my clients, and my children would join us in these events. I make the effort to ‘blend’ multiple activities with different people. This way, I can do something that is meaningful that also helps keep me energised.”
Image courtesy of Choy Huat Low
Choy Huat tells us that EY's policies play a big role in enabling this lifestyle for him. In line with their pledge to build a better working world and championing FWA, EY Malaysia runs a 'Bring Your Kids to Work Programme' where employees can bring their children to the office for a half-day Saturday. Choy Huat shares that the programme was created to show appreciation to EY's employees as well as give an importance to family, and show that the firm supports the need for work-life integration
Taking from that culture, Choy Huat is committed to providing his team members with working arrangements that suit them, based on their requirements and needs in their lives.

"It is about making it relevant for the individual," he says. "We work hard to find the right balance that works for both my team members and our clients."

He shares a recent situation where he created a new role for one of his team members, who had recently adopted a child and needed to spend more time at home.
Image courtesy of Choy Huat Low
"Being a father has trained me to think differently," he says. "I went through the process of raising my children, so I can understand and empathise, and have the maturity to handle such situations."

When it comes to paternity leave policies in Malaysia, Choy Huat believes that "we have a long way to go", and as an employer, more can be done to help families through the transition of new family members.
It’s important to tailor FWA for each individual at any one time. Everyone has different needs at different phases in their lives. Recipients of FWA should also have the ability to be flexible, and understand that delivery to their work commitments is key.”
As for tips for working parents, Choy Huat's advice is simple:
Speak up! Find the time to have that conversation with your employer, to discuss how to move forward. Employers, as humans, have strong values of empathy, and together, you will find a way to make it work.”

Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) represent the future of work, and what employees today expect when applying for a position. To find out how you, as an employer, can benefit from successfully implementing FWAs in your organisation, visit flexworklife.my