How a Flexible Work Schedule Changed My Life for the Better
It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the way we work today. The beginning of the work from home order brought on a weird combination of excitement, stress, and stir-craziness. People either loved it or hated it. I personally loved it. I had flexibility in my work schedule before the pandemic but it led to the ultimate flexible schedule once non-essential workers were forced to stay home.
Now that we have a vaccination, companies are pushing for return to work dates and a lot of employees have no desire to do so. For over a year people opened their homes to their jobs and realized how flexible their days could be. Flexible work schedules ultimately led to a work/life balance many never experienced before.
This is where companies need to listen. They need to establish flexible work schedule strategies as they plan their new normals. Majority of employees have proven they’re fully capable of working from home with flexible work schedules. Employees have learned they truly can have it all and not be tied to a desk in the office.
My life before a flexible work schedule
I’m fortunate to be able to run my own business and create a schedule that works well for me now, but that wasn’t always the case. If you’ve heard of the Enneagram, I’m a Seven, which can also be known as “The Enthusiast.” We like adventure, spontaneity, and to never feel trapped. While I do believe having to go into an office is beneficial at times, I don’t agree it’s a must for everyone every day. I used to dream of the day I wouldn’t have to go into an office every single day and feel chained to a desk. It was the ultimate entrapment for me.
I look back now and can’t believe the amount of negative energy and time I expended just having to be in an office. The belief that people had to be chained to a desk or cubicle to get their work done drove me nuts. I’ve never believed in that. The concept of 8-5 drove me nuts. How are we supposed to be creative and think outside the box when we’re being placed in one for eight hours per day? According to Front Public Health “over the last decade, sedentariness has become one of the largest public health concerns, recognized as one of the main causes of preventable premature mortality.” Read that line again. Yikes, no thanks.
In the beginning of my flexible work schedule
In the beginning of having a flexible work schedule I played around with working at different times per day. I would get up early sometimes and get about six hours worth of work done then have the rest of the day to do whatever I wanted. Then, I tested pushing work towards the later half of the day for a bit. That didn’t last long though, the thought of having work hanging out in the balance drives me nuts. At one point I was scheduling meetings for certain days of the week so I wouldn’t have to sit in meetings everyday.
Eventually I figured out that perform best when I wake up early between 5 and 6:30am and work hard until around 1pm. I’ll then take a break and hang out with my family for several hours and clock more hours at night depending on my workload. I’m a hard worker by nature and do like to work ahead when I can, so sometimes I’m setting myself up for the next few days at night but having the flexibility to work when I want has dramatically changed my life for the better!
What I’ve learned by having a flexible work schedule
Having a flexible work schedule means I get to spend more time with my family, get more done around the house, and enjoy breaks whenever I need them. Having flexibility ensures I’m at my best when my clients need me, which is a win for both of us.
Here are a few crucial things I’ve learned having a flexible work schedule:
- Quality trumps quantity. The outcome of your work is far superior to the amount of hours you put in. I hope the world stops focussing so much on celebrating 80+ hour work weeks and starts focusing on the quality of life flexible work schedules bring.
- Technology can take us anywhere. We have the technology to produce work from many types of industries from anywhere, why have we underutilized it? Digital transformation continues to evolve our processes and practices as it will continue to evolve the workplace.
- Work/life balance has never been better. Having the option to work when you want allows for you to be present for moments that matter most.
- Work schedule flexibility has provided more efficiency in getting work done.
Hope for a new societal model
The pandemic has provided an opportunity for employees to flex in and out of non-traditional work environments and schedules. Companies have now seen majority of employees can handle a remote and/or hybrid model with flexible schedules while still maintaining quality work and standards.
In the future this could lead to more control for employees over their work/life balance. They could have the option to manage their own workload instead of having someone do it for them in person between the hours of 8-5. Gone are the days where company wide work policies are necessary. No two teams have the same job roles and requirements so scheduling should be left at each team’s discretionary. This will provide the ultimate motivation for employees to deliver quality results and stay loyal to their company.
Leaving behind outdated work schedules could lead to better strategic outcomes for businesses in the future, not to mention building better trust with their employees.
Summary – how a flexible work schedule changed my life for the better
Having a flexible work schedule has 100% changed my life for the better. There is not one single negative outcome I’ve experienced. If I want to save some work for the weekends, I do. If I want to work ahead in the week, I do. If I don’t feel like working when I first wake up, I don’t. My work/life balance has actually helped me achieve greater results than I ever could have imagined before, it’s like a secret sauce being discovered!
What about you? Have you been able to take on a flexible work schedule?