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School’s out, so how do you reconcile that with doing your job? Few of us can take six to eight weeks’ of holiday to look after children, but it is sad to sentence them to weeks of full-time holiday camp once their fortnight in the sun is over. If only there was a happy medium.
There is. It is called flexible working. Even if you do not have children, it can help you enjoy the summer.
A survey of over 17,000 businesses worldwide, including 3,000 from Asia, conducted for Regus, found that 80% of employers offer staff some flexibility over where and when they work. As well as cutting commuting times, it improves people’s better work-life balance – especially during the long summer holidays. Here are five ideas for using flexible working this summer:
1. Work nearer home: Instead of commuting, hot and irritable, to a faraway office, use local business centres for some or all of the week. It will reduce your travelling time, and make your working hours more productive. Regus Businessworld customer Tom Cheesewright, a marketing and technology consultant, uses various business centres around Manchester (and in other cities, if he is travelling). This lets him work wherever he needs to be on a particular day – whether that’s close to home, close to where he is meeting a client, or close to where he is delivering or collecting his daughter.
2. Change your hours: This works especially well if you combine it with working closer to home. Starting earlier beats the traffic, and lets you finish earlier. Equally, starting and finishing later could fit in with children’s holiday activities, and still reduce the time spent in rush-hour traffic.
3. Consider a ‘workation’: Ok, we all know we are meant to switch off on holiday, but better to work some of the time than not to take a holiday at all. The key is to impose rigid rules on yourself: for example limit yourself to 9-11 each morning, and then disconnect for the rest of the day.
4. Be professional: If you want future opportunities to work flexibly, it is not in your interest to haemorrhage trust. So, work the hours you say you will, and at places with reliable internet, Wi-Fi and administrative back-up; and work as effectively as – or better than – usual.