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Steeple Aston
Oxfordshire
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9-2-3 is a recruitment agency that specialises in placing high quality candidates into jobs with hours that fit in around the school run.

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Case studies and thoughts on the working Mum in today's workplace

 

Let's hear it from a Dad...his take on achieving a work/ life balance

Helen Wright

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Written by Greg, dad to two, husband to one...doing the best he can!

I spent last weekend with my family, enjoying the weather ( a lot) and the cut and thrust of Chessington World of Adventures (a lot less...). This weekend, however, I am working late shifts both days and will be home from work long after my two young children have gone to bed. And so it goes with shift work…

 

When most people hear that I work 6 on, 3 off shifts, they normally comment on working six consecutive days. Usually, it goes something like this:  “You work SIX days per week?! I couldn’t do that.” But it doesn’t take long for people to soften their view. As a result of my shift pattern, I work fewer days per year than someone on a more ‘standard’ Monday to Friday pattern and my leave goes further too. These two revelations get people’s attention but there are other benefits too… 

 

I’m sitting on my sofa, it’s a Thursday, and in addition to shoehorning in a bit of NETFLIX I have done half the school run, taken my son to his swimming lesson, enjoyed a meal out with my family, helped with homework, read a bedtime story, put the bins out and worked a 7.5 hour shift. Oh, and cobbled together this badly written diatribe... A good example of how you can make shift work...work, and work well. 

 

I have had a number of jobs over my relatively short working life most of which have maintained what you would call normal business hours, apart from the odd temp job in retail-there is definitely therapy in stacking shelves.

 

You know when the best time to do almost anything is? On weekdays. Everything is a touch less crowded, which makes the shops nicer, the roads quieter and taking my daughter to the park a little bit more peaceful (sometimes). Admittedly I quite like spending time by myself and also seek quieter environments with my family so perhaps I am a little biased but I find I spend less time in competition with others for space, or jostling for my place in the queue... 

 

I don’t know how people get to the doctor or dentist or get their car serviced etc when at work during the traditional work pattern, I find an awful lot more flexibility in my work rhythm despite essentially being contracted to the same number of hours a week. These more mundane tasks tend to be far easier to sort with my current regime.

 

If there is a downside, perhaps sleep patterns are one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I get enough sleep, but the timing can change depending on work. Some people probably benefit from greater routine on that front. Also, the rest of the world arranges many things for the weekend (obviously) which means I can regularly miss them unless I deem them vital enough to take annual leave... 

 

Work-life balance. I will finish with this as this is what most people strive to achieve when it comes to their lives. I certainly have it and consider myself very lucky as a result and get this, it certainly doesn’t involve a 9-5.