The traditional working week of Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm is slowly becoming a thing of the past as more and more businesses embrace flexible working arrangements.
There are huge benefits to be gained from providing a work environment that allows employees to take ownership of when and how they are most productive. It is an acknowledgement that work is only one aspect of people’s lives and often there’s a need to accommodate family commitments, hobbies or study too.
The key to making sure flexible working arrangements work effectively is regular communication and agreeing quantifiable outcomes. The focus becomes on output, rather than input.
I’ve juggled motherhood with businesshood for five of the six years I’ve been in business, and tomorrow Archie turns 5! This is my letter to him (warning, it’s a novel):
Archie, you took forever to come into this world. We were ready, you weren’t.
15 days after your due date, when April had become May, you finally started making your move and 34 hours later, I held you for the first time. It was 10:30pm the day before Mother’s Day. You looked battered and bruised, but alert and calm, and you filled me with confidence that I could totally do this mummy-gig.
You gave me such an easy start. From the very beginning you showed me the ropes of this new life as a family of three. You fed well and slept well and went through the night from 7 months old.
Everyone said you seemed like such an old soul; maybe someone who had been here before.
And that wise way hasn’t left you.
But somehow, 5 years have gone by.
Parenting is a tough gig. It’s basically like doing an apprenticeship but without anyone to teach you the theory side. It’s practical from day one, and it’s all ‘on the job’ training.
And there’s no qualification to work towards.
For someone like me, with an academic background, that’s tough. I’ve spent thousands of dollars gaining a Bachelor’s degree and an MBA as ‘proof’ that I’m good at what I do, and in the professional world, that counts for something. The qualifications give me confidence that I do know what I’m doing.
But as a parent, it’s different.
I feel like I’m constantly in limbo, teetering between thinking I’ve totally nailed it one day, and the next day, thinking I’ve plummeted from top of the class to the absolute bottom.
This weekend epitomised how tough it is.
It’s time to wrap up our first month of The Working Women’s Tribe!
Make sure you’ve also read our posts on managing work life blend for other tips and tricks and checked out the other information provided in the facebook group.
For those of you that were able to make it to the September session, we really hope you gained something from the practical exercises Erin showed us to relax our mind and body on a daily basis.
To recap, here are the key takeouts:
Earlier this month we had our first meeting of The Working Women’s Tribe where the topic was about work life blend, and the feeling of being fragmented into a million different pieces with the demands of life and work.
Erin gave the Tribe some tips to counteract these competing pressures, by finding ways to connect within ourselves and with those we love, and really BE present in the moment. Our focus was on relaxing our mind and body and taking control of what we could, and accepting what we couldn’t.
Finding calm amongst the chaos can be a mental game, that requires consciously changing your perspective and mindset.
This can be done through 5 essential practices: