Are you back to working from the office after Covid and struggling? Do you find it hard to get motivated when you get to work in the morning? Are you late home a few times a week now we are all busy, missing out on family meals with the kids? Read on and buy me a pint one sunny Friday afternoon in the summer!
Being displaced after working from home during Covid, now returning to the office has made work more mundane for many people. That cheeky 2pm Tesco’s weekly shop, picking up the hire car before they close and getting another coat of paint on the garden chairs has come to an end. I made a change earlier this year, and I love what it gives me.
I’m not a director with the freedom that comes with it, but can pick Harry up from school every day if I choose to, with my bosses blessing. I need to share something that has made my personal life, work balance and productivity much better in 2022. It’s not the four-day week, but very close to it.
My alarm goes off at 05:10 and I have the house to myself to get showered, fed and ready. I avoid the morning bedlam of getting Harry out to school – in fact, I compound it if I am home, so Mandy prefers our new, proven arrangement.
I get to work for 6am and I see no-one, the phone doesn’t ring, no-one wants me to help look for the van keys, fix their printer, expect me to listen to last nights personal perils at home and I don’t have to make tea or coffee for anyone – selfish but I bet your shoulders just dropped a little if this is you each morning.
I can finish at 2pm, pop to the supermarket and still be home for 3:15 to walk to school and collect Harry – we are stronger for the bond it give us. If I do have lot’s on at work, I can stay on for 3 hours more, without stressing and still be home for just after 5pm.
Realistically, what is the point of staying up beyond 9:30pm as we often park on the couch and watch crap on the tele, drink wine or stare at our phones. Harry is in bed, Mandy is studying or out seeing friends, so going to bed is easy to do. I can still go to social events if I want to and end up being smarter with my time. Shunting my free time over to when we get home from school and doing things with Harry instead of being at work is good for all three of. Mandy can keep on working from home all day without distraction. I can still take calls, see emails and respond right up until early evening and react first thing in the morning for a quicker response, moving everything forwards for everyone else in the work chain.
For some of the tasks I do, I need to focus and not be distracted, so being early suits me so well. I get emails from my directors, customers and stakeholders asking me for information, tasks and actions needing urgency and I get them done by 8am the next day. I have been in so many times, seen critical overnight issues and corrected by 8am, saving the entire site being stood up until a resolve is sorted.
If this is what you want, ask the boss if it has benefits for him and the business. Get in early, get the pallets out, crack the doors open and get the kettle on. Do the noisy office work and make yourself a cosy little harmony desk like I have, for those early mornings in the winter. As the year goes by, you get to see sunrises, feel like the only man alive, seeing different people and the changes in time. You become more aware of how much time you spend at work; compared to with the family.
Could this work for you?