Flexible Working Week
Head of Marketing
There’s a week or celebration day for everything nowadays, as a natural redhead I was excited to hear about ‘Kiss a Ginger’ day earlier in the year but to be honest, the whole week passed with no surprise puckering finding its way to me so let’s hope that ‘Flexible Working Week’ this year had more of an impact!
Flexible working is a phrase that’s been around for a long time now, usually paired with the Government drive to support working parents, however, it’s only really in the past couple of years that we have truly been able to work anywhere. Technology has now really opened up the opportunity to mix work and home life pretty much seamlessly, all you need is a decent Internet connection wherever you are and all the data, information and communication access you need is at your fingertips.
My boss, (a slightly casual individual who absolutely epitomises the ‘work hard play hard’ ethos that’s come from realising that if he’s going to spend two thirds of his life progressing his career he wants to enjoy himself while he’s doing it) recently stood in front of an audience of around 300 IT directors at a keynote presentation and stated that “Cloud gives him the ability to bunk off work without being caught”. Once the laughter subsided, and people finished tweeting the comment, he took a few moments to contextualise the statement. He explained that he could now go to his children’s sports day while also being in a Lync conference call, that he can work from the train on the way back from that ‘networking’ lunch he had with old colleagues; but in essence what it really comes down to is allowing us all to have one life. A life where we can mix home and work in the right proportions to keep everyone happy: a life where checking our emails before breakfast is balanced with getting to watch the school play; a life where a wet Sunday afternoon spent writing website content is offset by an early finish on a sunny day to join the kids for a fish and chip supper on the beach.
Cloud applications, mobile connectivity, IP-voice, social networks; today, they all work together to ensure that we are always on, always connected and always available. So, maybe ‘work:life balance’ is no longer the term we need to be thinking about – maybe it’s just ‘life’ and we, as businesses and individuals, simply need to make it as easy and enjoyable as we can.