43/365 – Flexible working

Yesterday I took the opportunity to have my first day working from home. It’s part of the civil service flexible working pattern that employees are actively encouraged, if it works better for them, to work from home for one or two days a week. It’s the first time I’ve ever been encouraged to do this, although in my previous role the team were very flexible about working from home. This flexibility wasn’t a consideration when I applied for the role, but come yesterday I was definitely glad of it.

In my first two weeks in the new job, I arranged what felt like back-to-back meetings to ensure I have a good overview of how different sections of our department work together and to see how my team fits into this. These meetings have been really interesting so far and given me lots of potential projects. But after hardly getting a chance to sit at my desk, not to mention getting used to working five day weeks again and the aforementioned fatigue around it being my time of the month, I was thoroughly done in by end of play on Thursday. On top of that, I then had a three hour refresher course for the volunteer counselling I do for Childline.

By the time I got to bed, I was so grateful for the next day’s break from the commute and full day of meetings. It also meant I could get on with many of the tasks I hadn’t had time for during the week and play a bigger role in helping my team out with the day-to-day responsibilities.

While I know it doesn’t work for every kind of job, it’s a shame more office-based roles don’t allow for flexible working. I’ve heard recently of several people who have had to leave because their employers aren’t willing to be flexible and it just isn’t practical for them to work from an office, often far from where they live, for five days a week. I think whether it’s to do with having children, having a lengthy or extremely expensive commute or having a condition like myasthenia, the more employers that get behind flexible working the more motivated the workforce will be. What’s stopping it when all employees need is to be able to connect to a computer remotely or with urls? Here I’m pictured with all I need to work from home.

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