It’s #WorkLifeWeek and the focus is on helping people find more balance between life and work.
I’m a bit of a cynic, I don’t think work-life balance exists. Balance for me determines equal measures, and let’s face it, working full time doesn’t leave any time at all for balance – we spend more time at work than we do away from it.
So I prefer to focus on life balance – but it wasn’t always that way. In 2013 I became seriously ill, focusing all of my attention at killing myself at work, because the culture was very much about presenteeism and hours at the desk rather than working smarter. On days when I worked from home I would work even longer and worry about going for a comfort break or eating lunch in case anyone thought I was ‘slacking’.
Gone are those days though, I’m happy with the balance of my life. Sometimes work needs a bit more attention and sometimes home needs a bit more attention, but self-care and life balance are two of my main priorities.
The last five years have turned my attention onto working smarter, not harder. Spending time having fun, spending more time with my sons, giving back and working flexibly around my team and my clients.
It’s not perfect, but it’s working.
I’m proud of my little book on stress, written from my own experience of working too hard and the excuses used by others.
I’ve been sure to build Chrysalis Consulting on strong foundations that support life balance. I don’t want any of the team working late into the evening or at weekends. I don’t need to see everyone in the office every day. I’m proud of our flexible working arrangements and our home working arrangements, and our monthly personal development days, our blank paper days and our giving back days.
The focus is on our clients and ensuring we get the job done. We have deadlines and targets and outcomes that we need to achieve, and I trust that everyone will meet all of these.
I see employers who think that if their people choose their hours they will start to take the piss, and yes, some might. But are they getting the job done? If yes, great. If not, are they right for your business?
The truth is, we are more productive when we take regular breaks, we are more productive when we have clear goals and objectives and understand our purpose and what we need to deliver.
Legal firms are moving to more flexible hours as are many other businesses – it can work, for our people and our businesses. You can read more in my BTN article “work when you want”
Stress, overworking and never ending to do lists do not create success – balance and perspective do.
P.S My plea as we focus on #WorkLifeWeek, is that our attention and our conversations do not just focus on balance for this week. I get a little frustrated as organisations focus on these initiatives for a week to show the outside world what a great employer they are, when in reality nothing changes. So if you’re focusing this week on #WorkLife, make it a full time focus.
Not one for thinking outside the box – mainly because she believes there isn’t one, Kelly founded Chrysalis in 2014 after being appointed as the UK’s Youngest HR Director (something she was told she couldn’t achieve with two young sons), after feeling that consultancy needed to more people and less process driven because – well that’s what gives consultants a bad reputation.
Through her consulting, coaching, talks, presentations, workshops and books, she rips up the rule book and helps people create what’s best for them, their teams and their organisations – not what’s best for their competitors.
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