My 4 year old and I were meant to be heading into town today for a serious dance fest. Then the chicken pox hit hard. Ouch.
The dance fest was arranged by two awesome women – Mother Pukka and Kylie, founder of our 6,000 + awesome Edinburgh girl gang. Hundreds of others joined them to raise awareness about flexible working and it looked awesome.
My little girl is hating the smell of calamine lotion already and is begging me for ESPA skincare cleanser because it smells like marshmallows. Oh dear – hands off little one that is adult only. I will never forget the day she poured my fave luxury bottle of beautiful face oil all over herself. Just for fun.
It’s hard being at home. The days are really long, noisy and messy. I love my kids more than anything but trying to do anything with them around can be so frustrating. So when they nap or go to nursery or hang out with the grandparents: I am like a dog on heat.
I never really understood the power of multi tasking and getting the job done as quickly as possible and to the best of my ability. I can achieve an actual crazy amount in 4 or 5 hours. Then I hang with the kids for a serious snuggle fest and pick up my work again later into the evening. I am a flexible working Mum and I love it.
Why do so many employers in 2017 make parents out to be skivers for asking for flexible working conditions? We need to WAKE up – it is 2017. Flexible working is not about trying to get an easy ride. If in doubt – scroll back up and read above paragraph again.
Flexible working means finding a compromise that suit a new crazy lifestyle. So, if in my case today, your kid gets chicken pox – forget calling in sick. Forget being made to feel guilty. Why not get the job done from home? That might mean getting an hour in when the little one naps or chills watching Peppa on repeat. It might mean getting out of bed a couple of hours earlier or staying up until midnight. It might mean asking the grandparents or child minder to help for a few hours. Who cares? If the job gets done then that should be all that matters. I am baffled that many employers are not allowing this to happen.
Why can’t parents work from their dining room table or home office some days, saving a couple of hours on commuting ? 80% of jobs in the UK are desk based. Let’s stop being so old fashioned about this. If you have a hardworking and passionate member of staff who happens to be a parent – trust them to get the job done. Let them work from home around their kids. Let them work around the school run and the nursery drop offs. Let them be there to snuggle on the sofa when their kid is sick. Let them put their kids to bed then hit the laptop for a few hours. Yes time in the office is important but quality not quantity.
I love my job. Working when you love what you do is never a chore. It gives us meaning and doing the job well is so satisfying. I would actually chose to work over chilling to an episode of Made in Chelsea. That is how I measure my job satisfaction these days.
Employers who are lucky enough to have passionate people who love their jobs should be flexible. Because if you love what you do then desk time working is a prividlge and never a chore. Does it matter if that desk is not in the same location every day?
Flexible working for parents and carers who love their job will ALWAYS mean –
1 -Happier staff.
2 -Lower costs.
3 -Greater productivity.
So why are close to nine million UK workers, who love their jobs and want to work flexibily, being turned down. I repeat – 9 million. This is insane.
Mother Pukka and Edinbugh Gossip Girls – sorry I missed today but I did a bit of flexible dancing at home with my little spotty chicken.
Flexible working is freaking awesome.