National Work Life Week is an opportunity for both employers and employees to focus on wellbeing at work and work life balance.
As a company, the wellbeing of our team is of utmost importance. We want to make sure everybody has the right work life balance for them, we want our team to talk to us and tell us what works for them and we do everything we can to make that work.
For me, as the founder of the business, being able to drop my children off at school every morning and pick them up every afternoon is the most important part of my day – I know that having mummy drop them off calmly each morning sets them up for a positive day and affects how the rest of their day goes. My working day finishes at 3. I have a strict rule that laptops and phones are away so that I can welcome them home without being distracted by work. I can talk to them about their day, do homework, get a good dose of fresh air, and then sit down to a family dinner. After their bedtime my work continues for a couple of hours before I switch off for the day (switching of is a skill I am still working on). This balance is what makes my work life and family life work well for me. Of course it’s different for each of us and knowing what the priorities are and how to juggle them is key to creating a happy work life balance. My priorities have evolved over time and I don’t always get it right but I keep trying!
Here’s how some of our team are trying to make it work for them:
Ushma: With two children under 3, juggling work and life is just an ordinary day (and the occasional ball dropping is inevitable). Some days where I have specific projects, deadlines or meetings, I’m fortunate enough to call upon both grandmas to help for some uninterrupted work time. Other days, I work when I can (I work part-time) – typically first thing, during nap times, some evenings too and almost always the occasional phone call or urgent email whilst supervising finger painting or a puzzle. To have an employer that understands flexible working can be successfully measured by your output and quality of work and not by clocking in and out at a set time is so refreshing and quite frankly just what the world needs right now. There are always going to be some time sensitive matters for both work and life but thankfully with a like minded employer who understands, you can at least try and juggle it all. It’s work in progress!
James: Being the COO can be incredibly stressful at times and the days can be super long with work often piling up. It’s really important that within my working week I am able to do something to de-stress and have some time just for me so that I can see the situation clearly and often with a new outlook, improving the quality of my work hugely. For me that escape is golf. If possible I try to hold meetings with our bookkeeper on the golf course, I am lucky she is a keen golfer! This is a two in one for me, productivity and a de-stress at the same time. Beyond that, a typical week can range from a full day of meetings or paperwork to juggling school runs and after school activities. Achieving the best balance is different for each of us and I feel very lucky that I have found what helps my work/life balance work.
Sarah : Flexibility is so important to me as I need to manage my time around the school run and everything else it takes to run a household. Working school hours makes a difference but there are always unforeseen circumstances that can make that too a little challenging. Being able to commit to a few regular days a week helps as does the flexibility needed to swap in or out some work with a colleague and an employer who understands short term changes might need to happen. Working the occasional evening for training or a meeting is also just part of the mix but it allows me my days when they may be needed elsewhere for school based work or home life duties so it all comes together in the end, although can sometimes feel chaotic at times! I wouldn’t have it any other way.