I am a flexible worker. Did you know that about me?
Since setting up my business I have been focusing on creating a business and home life that works for me.
The all elusive work-life balance!
I am delighted to say I have found it. Or rather I am using flexible working to create it.
Here is how it looks for me.
Now that all three little Scullions are in school I have created a working pattern that fits around my home life. Don’t get me wrong I take calls / answer emails outside of these times and when clients need me on site I always strive to meet their timelines, so if it means an extra day with their lovely childminder or some hours spent with Granny after school the kids go with the flow.
For the past four years my working week looks like this: I work a long day Monday 9 – 6pm, 9-3pm the rest of the week and I don’t take client meetings on a Friday.
Keeping my Friday meeting free, means I can
- get to Pilates first thing which keeps my bad back flexible and strong (which in turns keeps me fit for working those long hours at the laptop)
- leave the heels in the wardrobe and enjoy casual Friday (small girl problems)
- have dedicated time to “catch-up” on the inevitable overflow of work / emails which I didn’t get to during the week
- plan my workload for the next week so I can hit the ground running
- stop the Sunday night laptop routine because everything is up to date
- and … if it works out that I have a spare hour to myself before 3pm school run then I can catch my breath … which is lovely for me ?
Being a “flexible worker” has changed my life.
- I am happier for it.
- I do 9 out of 10 of the school runs.
- I am there for homework (this does not always make me happy!!)
- I have found balance – a balance that works for me and my family.
Yes for now my balance is driven around being a part-time working mum/business owner and raising a young family.
But wanting to be a flexible worker is not just for mums – a lack of flexibility in the workplace affects men too!
I see all too often how talented employees (male and female) are frustrated and limited in their career choices because of the old “presenteeism” mindset.
Whether you are a parent who wants to do the school run before your mini-me grows up to a teenager who is embarrassed in your company; or whether you are an adult child of an elderly parent and you want to be there for them as their ageing body means more hospital appointments or they just need you around more.
To be a great employee you don’t have to be in front of your boss 100%. In fact in my experience small business employers who give their staff the trust to do their job without being micro-managed see the benefits. Yes it can go wrong sometimes, but so can traditional working patterns.
Small business owners … ask yourself this? Are you losing talent because of a lack of flexibility in your business??
If the answer is yes then my final words are especially for you:
If you know flexible working is something you need in your business:
- don’t be afraid of it
- don’t get caught in the trap of needing to “see” your employee in work
- start to look at the options and rewards flexible working could bring to your employees and your business.
Need to chat more – get in touch, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time
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