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Work-life balance, What about family balance!

Work-life balance, What about family balance!

19 May by Kerri Hansen

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Having wrestled with the notion of the perfect balance of time spent working from home and in the office in recent times, OnTalent has been brilliant and gone with the best practice of three office days and two from home. This works for the team, and we are all flexible to come in more days when required or move days around to accommodate personal commitments. It’s an outstanding balance.

While our lens has been focused on individual and organisational wants, who has been monitoring our family’s needs?

My hairdresser is such a positive and upbeat person and loves her family. In fact, she’s never had a bad word to say about any of them.  

So, imagine my surprise when she said, “I am sick of my family. I want my house and my life back!”

“Kerri, I walked into the house singing after my walk this morning and was told to be quiet by my daughter as she was in a team meeting. This is my home, and if I want to sing or walk into the kitchen to prepare our evening meal during the day, I should be able to without being told to be quiet.”

You see, when COVID 19 hit, her daughter set up working from the dining room table doing a payroll position where she is in online meetings and fielding payroll enquiries from employees pretty much all day. This has been ongoing for the past 14 months. Only recently has she started going back into the office one day a fortnight.

This got me thinking of the pandemic’s disruption not just to business, but to our home environment.

To quote one of my favourite actors Michael Caton …. Our home is our castle.

It’s been six weeks and I went back for an appointment this week and was surprised to see that my hairdresser was in a great mood, and she looked fit and healthy! When I asked if the kids had gone back to work, she laughed and said hell no!

She made the decision that if they were at home, she would go out. She has a fantastic new routine where she takes the dog for a morning walk and then goes for a run, something she hasn’t done for years. She’d forgotten how much she enjoys it. She’s increased her days at the gym and continuing her Pilates classes. To alleviate the cooking preparation, the family has swapped to prepared evening meals of Lite n’ Easy and My Muscle Chef. 

Sue quickly realised she could not move her daughter because this was the best location for her to do her work, so she changed her own routine and mindset. As a result, she has now dropped 5kg, has more energy and her sanity back. She is currently preparing for a 100km walk in Perth!

Now I’m not saying that we should have to leave our respective castles to get relief. Perhaps we could revisit what we did when we started working at home, when we compromised and took all of our work colleagues’ needs into consideration, and set up operating rhythms for ourselves. Perhaps this can be translated, and those same principles applied to home?

While we might schedule a meeting to cater to colleagues, have we really set up operating rhythms with our loved ones at home?

Kerri Hansen is a customer-centric leader, Kerri is known for her ability to develop and grow long-term relationships with her clients. She brings a professional and authentic approach along with strong commercial acumen. You can contact Kerri on 07 3305 5800.