A few weeks ago i started working form home one day a week. It’s a formal agreement with the firm with a set day each week. The main aim was to be able to help out with nursery pickups/drop offs and enable Mrs UTMT to also return to work part time. Of course the other driver from a more personal perspective was to try and reclaim some work life balance.
It’s still early days for me with this regular work from home thing but the early signs are good. My work productivity is up = I’m demolishing the type of tasks that require a distraction free environment. I’m allocating particular tasks that are better suited to my WFH days to the appropriate day and scheduling meetings appropriately.
So far the boss appears satisfied. Every time he calls/messages/mails i’m there responding and not outside mowing the lawn or down the pub as I suspect he may have feared. The job is still being done.
That’s all well and good (and best served up in any formal reviews of this arrangement at work) but more important to me is the fact there has also been significant gains in my non-work life. Here’s a few off the top of my head:
- Extra time spent with UTMT Jr
- Less time spent commuting
- More sleep
It is amazing how one mid week day at home breaks up the monotony of the working week. Maybe the novelty will wear off but I’ve regained some motivation to work. I suspect this is because I feel the my work/life balance has taken a material turn for the better.
I am able to take lots of micro breaks throughout the day that allow me to dominate various household chores and other activities that would otherwise have been done in a mad rush once I am back form work in the evening or at the weekend. Here’s a few examples:
- Putting the bins out
- Doing a couple of loads of washing
- Preparing a healthy balanced evening meal
- Short sessions of yoga/stretches
- A cup of tea or lunch in the garden (as opposed to at my desk at work)
- Nipping to the post office
- Water the plants
The net result of all this activity is that I feel reinvigorated to a certain extent. It’s given me a little peak into the future, a little preview of what life will be like when I’m no longer a slave to the commute.
How To Wangle Work From Home
Well you just need to ask. For too long I took the opinion that ‘they’ll never agree to that’. Surprisingly, when I did ask, there wasn’t all that much resistance.
One of the benefits of working for a large lumbering bureaucratic organisation is that rules have to be followed. UK law dictates that employees have the legal right to request flexible working arrangements. This is applicable to all employees, not just those with children. The law states that employers must treat applications in a reasonable manner. This essentially means that if you can set out a good case why you need to work flexibly and how it won’t impact your employer detrimentally then it is hard for them to say no.
In my case the request I made was farmed out to HR and eventually accepted after a few boxes were ticked. I’m sure my case was helped by mention of ‘childcare’ on the application form but the main thrust of my application was based on the potential benefits to the firm such as a more motivated employee, increased productivity, less distractions, less commuting time (longer work hours) etc etc.
Of course once you get the go ahead to work form home it’s crucial you don’t take the proverbial. Leave the daytime TV for another lifetime. Get your work done first and enjoy the benefits this new flexible working arrangement brings you.