APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions and meets an inspirational CEO.
Here she gives a reader advice on how to request a meeting with her boss as she worries she may have to relocate due to post-pandemic business structures.
Q) Just before the pandemic, the company I’ve worked at for over 10 years relocated some of its offices 200 miles away – but not my department.
Since then, it periodically floats the idea that it might move the remainder of us there, too.
This would mean relocating my family, including my two school-age kids, or leaving the company entirely, so it’s a massive deal. It’s stressful not knowing if or when it’s going to happen.
Should I have a conversation with my boss about this? How can I manage this kind of uncertainty?
Maria, via email
A) You must have this conversation with your boss, otherwise you could be stressing about something that isn’t even going to happen.
Request a meeting and then ask whether there are discussions about relocating your department, and if so, how such a process would work.
Read through your employment contract and be ready with questions, such as whether the business offers a relocation package. Some companies now allow employees to work from home full-time, so consider if this is something you would be interested in, should it be an option.
As you have been with the company for 10 years, and the new office location would have big implications on your life, a redundancy package could also be worth considering if one is on the table.
If you’re not satisfied that your employer is fulfilling its side of your contract, contact ACAS for advice about rights at work (Acas.org.uk).
Most importantly, take care of yourself – Mind.org.uk has great online tools and advice on coping mechanisms and how to manage work stress.
A Day In The Life Of…
Hollie Grant, 36, is a Pilates instructor and co-founder of pre and postnatal fitness brand The Bump Plan. She lives in Oxford with her business partner husband Stuart, 36, and their daughter Freya, three.
I woke up at…
6am, if I’m teaching a morning Pilates class or have a day of filming – I’m 19 weeks pregnant and currently filming new workouts for The Bump Plan.
I shower, dress, then wake Freya. We spend half an hour reading together before breakfast. On days I’ve got meetings with our marketing agency, social media manager or brands, Stuart takes Freya to nursery and I head to our end-of-garden office for 8.30am.
Everything Stuart and I do is 50/50 and we each take a day off a week to look after Freya.
A normal day involves…
I’m a fan of the “eat that frog” metaphor, which means tackling challenging tasks first. After writing my to-do list, I get on with things I like at least, like accounting!
After a 10-minute lunch, the second half of the day is when I let my juices flow, creating content or teaching online clients around the world. Work ends at 4.45pm with a last scan of emails.
Before collecting Freya, one of us takes a walk with our rescue dog Sandy, while the others exercise. It’s a nice way to decompress.
We operate a flexible-working ethos with employees, most of whom are juggling childcare. I see our team as friends and believe that by being respectful, fair and kind, the same comes back.
The best part of my job is…
Knowing we’re helping women move away from diet culture and inspiring them to exercise not to lose weight, but because they actually enjoy it.
And the worst…
Running a company with Stuart makes switching off hard, because it’s easy to discuss marketing over breakfast.
So, during family time, we strive to limit work talk. But overall, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, particularly being able to work around watching our daughter grow up.
I wind down by…
Cooking. I used to be a pastry chef and Stuart loves food, too.
I’m a fan of looking in the fridge, seeing what’s about to go off, then throwing a meal together. I love the challenge!