Could flexible working be the key to a healthier work-life balance in
The UK Government recently approved legislation that means
from 30th June 2014, any employee has the right to request flexible
working, for any reason, and employers are required to give the request "reasonable consideration." Of course this doesn't mean we're suddenly going to
have thousands of people across the UK working from their sofa in front of
Jeremy Kyle with a cup of tea and a laptop, but it does open up the possibility
for individuals to find a new way of working that allows them to achieve a
healthier work/life balance.
In reality, flexible working is happening for most
businesses already, and if you're the kind of person that sends emails from
their mobile at night or does preparation for a meeting on the train, you're
already doing it. But why not stop to consider what else you could be doing to
make the most of time?
Working from "the cloud": Many people will go into the office every day because that is where
they have everything they need to do their job. However, in today's connected
world there is a wealth of technology and software out there that can enable
people to access documents and collaborate with colleagues just as efficiently
as if they were in the same room. Just think of the extra time you would have
by cutting out the need for a daily commute into the office.
Condensing your hours: Would you be able to get the same amount or more! work done in
four days of ten hours, rather than the usual eight hours Monday to Friday? If
so it might be worth condensing your hours to save a day of commuting and give
yourself a whole extra day of quality time.
Finding a working environment that suits you: As long as your company has the technology and
infrastructure to support flexible working, you might find you can be more
productive while you are shut away at home, sat in a coffee shop or even
getting some air in the park. Escaping the office, even occasionally for a
change of scenery, can free you from distractions that are taking you away from
key tasks, inspire a bit of creativity and generally relieve some of the
stresses and pressures associated with the office.
Staggering your hours: Does your job really require you to stick to the same set hours as
everybody else, or would it actually be a benefit to the company if staff's
start and finish times were staggered either side of core business hours? By
shifting your working day earlier or later than the traditional 9 to 5 you can
miss rush hour traffic giving you a quicker commute, or even make sure you've
always got time for a gym session in the morning, you're free for dropping the
kids off at school or you're back in time for precious kids' story before bed.
The reality is flexible working isn't right for everyone. It might not be practical for your particular role or you might simply not have the self-discipline to perform as well when you are outside the office environment. However, the most important thing to take away is that
working isn't a one-size-fits-all thing, and YOU now have the power to
tailor-make a solution that gives you control of how you live your life.
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