Flexible work choices are a very open subject for me. My need for flexibility changes constantly, and currently I choose to work around being available for my now almost teenage children.
Gender balance/equality is not just about ‘women getting back to work’ – it’s also about men being openly encouraged to work flexibly. Everyone should be offered the opportunity to demonstrate how they can contribute to the success of whatever they are employed to do, as well as pursue other things outside of work. For some, it could be parental or carer responsibilities, sports activities, or just recharging their energy (any other introverts out there?!).
I have been running my own businesses since my eldest was about 9 months old – stepping out of my career to have my first child, I felt like I'd lost my identity, and my credibility as a leader & business woman. I'd worked my way up the management ladder for about 15 years before parenthood. I loved my work and I missed the buzz of problem-solving, of change management, & of connecting with my peers.
We moved to Australia from Scotland at the end of 2011. I arrived in a community where no-one knew me or my capabilities, and I had to start from scratch. No credibility, connections, or clients! Settling my two young kids into a new life on the other side of the world made a re-entry into any kind of career seem like an impossible dream. So I decided to try to solve my own problem, and I opened our suburban flexible workspaces early in 2015.
How could you create more flexible work choices in your world?