As a working mum, I’m constantly juggling different roles and responsibilities. Being at the office all day, while also doing the school run, parents’ evenings and going to my children’s sports matches is simply not feasible.
That’s why flexible hours and working remotely has been so important for me – it allows me to fulfil both my professional and personal responsibilities. It’s always a balancing act, and in many ways it requires a new set of skills to get the most out of flexible working. Not all aspects of my role can be done remotely, so it’s important to make the right call about when I’m needed in the office. But, like many employees who work flexibly, technology helps things to tick over and I’ve learned to constantly assess and prioritise my responsibilities.
Yet technology can be a double-edged sword when employees struggle to find the right balance between their work and personal lives. Simply having the technology to allow you to work flexibly doesn’t necessarily reduce stress levels.
It’s important that technology is managed effectively to ensure that its benefits aren’t outweighed by increased stress levels, with the idea that you need to be “always on”. Both employers and employees have a responsibility to set some parameters and actively dissuade the development of this culture within teams.
Companies that can provide the tools and the culture to help us find that right work-life balance will reap the rewards when it comes to attracting and retaining the best employees.