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Flexible working – the key to ‘the good life’?

“We have two lives, and the second begins when we realise we only have one.” ― Confucius

I’ll start by defining what I mean by ‘good life’…

Building your own ‘good life’ means having one life that is filled with all the magical strands that make you, you. Your work or business, your family and friends, your passions and dreams; all woven into a beautiful tapestry with equal measure and meaning. As Henry Dimbleby said on Conversations of Inspiration, ‘There’s no such thing as work/life balance, there’s just life’!

Now you know what I mean by good life, think about all the threads that make up your life, and really ask yourself, do they get treated with equal value? Think not just of work and family, but of your hopes and dreams!

On my Instagram Live ‘Interviews with The Experts’ this week I chatted to Pippa Murray, founder of Pip and Nut, and she said she has always dreamt of moving to Cornwall but, until now, it had not seemed possible. And last week I spoke to Asma Khan who said she’s realised that, although she is doing what she loves, she never really takes the time to properly look after herself, and this period has allowed her to do that – and she’s started boxing! Both Pip and Asma said they are looking at ways to bring a more equal balance across all areas of their life with them into the next phase of business, post-corona.

Because remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup! YOU are the duracell battery of your business, and if you don’t recharge you can’t give your business and team the best of you.

Something I have found completely life changing is the amount of time I’m saving time by not traveling here there and everywhere across London going to so many meetings – even meetings within the office! Not only am I getting so much more done work-wise but I have also found a small slither of time to do something for me. I can’t quite believe I’m saying it but I am finally going to try yoga with my sister and co-founder Carrie.

Are there any old habits that you’re still holding onto that no longer make sense? In the office we used to start every day with a team 10am, where we’d catch up and unblock anything that was stuck… we started off having these everyday when working from home, then on Mon, Weds, Fri and now we are just doing Monday and Friday! It’s enough for us to stay in the loop as a team and frees up time for more productive tasks.

I so desperately want to make sure that this ‘great pause’ is not wasted. So I urge you to recognise the changes you need to make and make them – for good. Flexible working is undoubtedly the key to allowing everyone, whether a small business owner or not, to build their good life. But we must recognise this privilege and not allow these newfound chunks of ‘free’ time dissolve away into our day.

Use your old morning commute time to do the yoga you always said you would. Take an hour in the evening to work on your dream that always takes a back seat. Play with your kids in your lunch hour! Get those niggling jobs around the house done and love the place you call home!

I for one most definitely plan on using this unprecedented time to make life long changes, for me, my team and my business.