The flexibility to balance work and army life

At Ogier, we believe that people produce their best work when they are able to bring their whole self to work. That means that they feel free to express themselves honestly and to strike a work life balance that allows them to pursue their passions. British Army reservist combat engineer, Jersey Field Squadron member – and Ogier Global real estate administration manager – James Philpott explained to Gallery Magazine in July 2020 how his army life and office job sit side by side.

The thing I like most is the contrast between my day job and what I do as a reservist. I get to put away the calculator and have the opportunity to travel overseas to do something entirely different as a combat engineer.

In September, that 'something different' will be deployment to Iraq with the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers. We will spend three months of pre-deployment training before deploying to Iraq in December, where we will be providing ground support and training to local forces.

The regiment is the most senior reserve regiment in the British Army so, naturally, there's a great deal of excitement that we have been called up for this tasking. My job out there will entail the provision of combat engineer support, but as a reservist I will also be taking the armoury of civilian professional skills that I have gained over the years working at Ogier.

Obviously, leaving my job for 12 months required me to have an upfront conversation with Ogier, but the firm has been very supportive of my role as a reservist. I was transparent about my commitment to being a reservist when I was interviewed for my role at Ogier Global, because it absolutely does require a level of understanding from your employer. I have the flexibility to request chunks of unpaid leave that allow me to carry out both roles, and Ogier have always been fully on-board with that.

Ogier recognises both my passion for the role and the value of this work for the wider community and I work with HR to ensure disruptions to the team are minimal. There is a genuine belief at Ogier in the benefits of flexible working practice for individuals and for the company, which is great for me.

As the response to COVID-19 gathered momentum, I requested leave at fairly short notice to assist with tasks issued to the Jersey Field Squadron. We helped with a number of emergency tasks, including the storing and delivery of PPE and assisting with the set-up of the Nightingale Hospital. Again, the firm were very supportive of this and provided the time I needed.

Working as a reservist is a lifestyle balance challenge and is something that I would be unable to do without the support I receive from Ogier. Being a reservist has given me the opportunity to gain professional development training and qualifications, travel overseas, partake in sports and adventure training, make long-lasting friendships and, importantly for me, add very different strings to my leadership and management bow.