Making Fall the Season of ‘You’

August 30, 2017 by FlexPro

It’s been a whirlwind summer at my house and saying it flew by would be an understatement! So much fun with the family going to concerts and baseball games. We celebrated a couple of birthdays, including my oldest son’s 21st. We enjoyed a wonderful family vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina then came home just in time to take both of my sons back to Villanova University for their sophomore and senior years. In addition to family fun, we’ve been busy at FlexPro too. And, now that my kids are back at college and the house is quiet again, I started thinking…now what?

While I love the more carefree schedule of the summers, I do enjoy getting back into a little bit more of a routine. Late summer allows me to have a little time to myself, to reflect, re-group, and re-focus. It might be “back-to-school” time for all of the kids, but it’s a great opportunity for the rest of us to assess “What’s next?”

This year as you send the kids off to school, instead of just diving right into your work, take some time to re-evaluate your life situation and understand if it is working for you. It’s too easy to get caught up in the craziness of life and lose sight of what’s really important. Ask yourself, “Am I happy with my current job situation? Am I doing everything I can to achieve harmony between my work and my life?” If work and life feel out of balance to you, think about whether a flexible work arrangement might help. Here are some typical “flexible work options” to consider:

1) Remote Work/Telecommuting: Many employers are offering the work-from-home option to their employees. If your employer is one of them, would working from home even one day per week help you get back on-track? If you don’t think a regular day each week would work, how about trying it even once every couple of weeks to see if it makes a difference. Imagine what you could do with an hour or two of your life back every couple of weeks. Try it in small chunks first. Just gaining the time back you lose commuting might be enough to help.

2) Reduced Hours/Part-time: Perhaps your financial situation will allow for reducing your work hours? In this time of tight corporate budgets, your management might welcome the opportunity offer you fewer hours or even part-time hours. Remember if you don’t ask, the answer is always “no.” Would consulting be a fit for you at this time? Would you benefit by doing project-based work instead of traditional employment?

3) Flex-Time: Many employers have found that offering their employees more flexible hours can actually boost productivity. Consider changing your start and stop time at work from the typical 9-5 day. For example, starting earlier and leaving earlier might allow you more time to get dinner ready before the kids head off to their evening activities. Or maybe you could start your work day later and feel more balanced if you could get your kids on the school bus instead of dropping them at before-school care? Challenge the status quo and see if you are able to reap some important benefits for your family’s lifestyle.

Employers today are learning that in order to attract and maintain the best workers, they need to be more flexible and willing to work with their employees in keeping both their work and home lives in order. Kids are the main reason employees are seeking perks like working remotely and flextime, but even employees without children or with grown kids are often looking for non-traditional work hours and opportunities.

Have the courage to try something different. It’s always easier to take the path of least resistance, but does that always get you what you want? Maybe now is the time to consider a career move, going back to school, changing your hours, working from home, or whatever else has been nagging at the back of your brain. Just like January 1st is a time for resolutions and new beginnings, a new school year isn’t just for the kids! Take this time to make a new beginning for yourself. Take control. It’s your life and your future. Then when the kids are back at school, start evaluating what’s next for YOU…

-Rose Cook, FlexPro CEO

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