Rachel Stockley, director of FMB member Sarrani Ltd, a female-led company specialising in property insurance repairs, talks to Master Builder about why flexible working practices give the company its edge.

Flexible fix for firm

Almost half (47%) of respondents in the FMB’s 2019 member census offer flexible or part-time working arrangements and one such company is Sarrani Ltd, experts in insurance repairs for residential and commercial property. The London-based firm was founded by Rachel Stockley in 2016 after she left a franchise network that did insurance repair works and loss assessing. Rachel has enjoyed a varied career and inspired by her experience of starting up her previous business – a translation company – she decided to offer her employees flexible working practices and the opportunity to work from home.

“When I first set up the translating and editing company, I had been working at home myself and I loved the flexibility of being able to work anywhere, as long as I had a Wi-Fi connection,” explained Rachel.

“When recruiting for Sarrani, I had looked for someone decent for quite a while and the first person I recruited needed a bit of flexibility because she had children she was looking after and I thought there is no need for it to be a 9-to-5 or 9-to-6 role."

“As long as we get done what we need to get done that is all that really matters. All our work can be carried out remotely or on-site, so a 9-to-5 office environment isn’t necessary to the role. I trust my staff to get on with their workload and they always deliver,” said Rachel. “It is really important to me that the staff are happy, and I think flexible working makes them more productive."

“By supporting women in terms of flexible hours and home working, we not only cut overheads, but have attracted exceptional talent which may have been overlooked elsewhere.” Rachel now employs an all-female team of project managers and quantity surveyors and a part-time marketing executive, which has proven to be a unique selling point for the business.

“Handling property insurance repairs for a large claim can be almost a full-time job, which few people have time to manage on top of their work and family commitments.” said Rachel.

“We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service and support to our clients throughout a difficult period to ensure their home or business is correctly reinstated to a high standard, as quickly as possible."

“We find that many of our clients are reassured to have a female-led construction firm assisting them in a traumatic time, when they are often in need of an efficient yet personal and empathetic approach that… dare I say… tends to be more forthcoming from women.”

The firm has continued to go from strength to strength and was named as Best Construction Project Management Company in the UK (2019) by the SME News, as well as being shortlisted for the Women in Construction Awards at London Build 2019.

This article was published in the December/January 2020 edition of Master Builder; the magazine of the Federation of Master Builders. Click here to download the latest copy or click here to apply to join and gain unrestricted access to the back-catalogue.