What Flexible Work Means to Our People

“I was sitting in the bleachers of my son’s baseball practice chatting with a dad about trying to attend all of our kids’ activities. He told me that his wife would like to attend, the way I do, but she works,” wrote Katie Evans, Senior Communications Specialist, on LinkedIn. She first thought this comment implied that she didn’t work, when in fact, she has a full-time job here at Woodard & Curran and is a published author of several middle-grade books. “At first I was really mad…but the more I thought about it, the more I realized what a huge compliment that is and what a testament that is to Woodard & Curran’s value of putting people first.”

The post inspired several replies from colleagues across the firm who shared their own experience with both Woodard & Curran’s flexibility regarding where employees work from, the hours they prefer to work, and the support received from colleagues and leaders who recognize that family comes first.

“Several years back, my family went through a very tough time with my wife,” wrote Dick Gould, Lead O&M Technician at Linden Ponds in Massachusetts. “We lost her after a long difficult battle with medical issues. All through our battle, those above me supported us unwaveringly. They made me know my first obligation was with my wife and family.”

At the time, Dick was the only operator at the privately-owned wastewater treatment facility in Hingham. Water and wastewater treatment plants operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Dick said, “I was there working most of the time, but when I couldn’t be at work, the people around me said don’t worry about it. They took care of it.”

At the start of COVID-19, Woodard & Curran transitioned all its office-based employees to work from home until it was safe to gather in offices again. The firm added safety protocols for operators who did not have the option of working remotely from home or in isolated office areas. As restrictions subsided state-by-state, the company worked to phase people back into the office, but rolled out a flexible work arrangement program that gave employees the opportunity to choose their work style. Some returned to the office full-time, some stayed remote full-time, and others opted for a hybrid of both home and office. Regardless of where our people get their work done, we embrace flexibility to ensure that they can tend to family matters, personal health and wellbeing, and anything else that may arise.


Kathleen Welter Vice President Human Resources

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Katie Evans with her husband Bill, son Tyler Sloan, and mother Mary Ann Ruark.

Will DiTullio pictured with his sons Cameron, 11, and Bradley, 6.

Katie Cole with her son Hayes visiting her horse Cisco.

“When I was talking to Woodard & Curran about joining the firm in 2022, I was transparent about my situation,” said Will DiTullio, PE, Senior Technical Manager, who has custody of his two boys ages 6 and 11 every other weekday and every other weekend. “It’s better than I ever could have imagined. Everyone is so flexible and thoughtful. They understand that yes, what we do is business and there’s a bottom line, but also that each person has stuff going on outside of work.”

Will opts to work from home on the days he picks up his sons when school is dismissed at 2:45 p.m. to avoid the disruption of having to leave the Andover, Massachusetts office for more than an hour. On days when he drops his sons off in the morning, he opts to work in the office and have time to collaborate in person with colleagues on the wastewater treatment projects they’re assigned to. He said, “The flexibility has made things more efficient and easier for me to balance work and life.”

Based in California, Water Resources Project Manager Katie Cole works remotely, which allows her to spend more time with her year-and-a-half old son. She said, “There’s really only three or four hours in a day that he’s awake and I am not working. So, the fact that I don’t need to spend a third of that time commuting means I get to spend that time with him every day. It’s so cliché to say, but I value my time differently now that I’m a parent and I will never get this time back.”

Katie Cole also blocks off Tuesday mornings on her schedule, time reserved to visit her horse Cisco, who she has had for about 20 years. She is transparent with both her team and clients that she takes this time each week and why. She added, “Not only does that bring a level of humanity to my role as a consultant, so often the people I tell I’m going to visit my horse either have a horse of their own or ride. It creates a deeper connection when sharing other facets of your life with colleagues and clients.”

Katie Evans was excited to read comments from many colleagues on her LinkedIn post. In addition to being present at her 15-year-old son’s sporting and academic events, she is also her mother’s primary caregiver. When her mother, who has Parkinson’s disease, broke a hip in December 2022, she was able to return home and avoid inpatient rehabilitation because of Katie Evans’ ability to work from home and adjust her hours to work when her mother was resting. She feels this afforded her mother the ability to recover quickly without risk of contracting COVID-19 or another illness at a facility.

“My two biggest values are that I want to do impactful work and I want to be there for my family. Woodard & Curran’s flexibility and support has absolutely changed my life since joining in 2022. The company has given me the opportunity to do a job I love, pursue my passion projects, and still be there for my family.”

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