Are you happy with your work / life balance?
Over a third (35%) of parents in the UK are not happy with their work-life balance, and believe they spend too much time at work and not enough time with their families, according to new research.
Oh man. Tell us something we don't know, right?
Maybe I'm just an old cynic but I'm not sure I even believe in work / life balance right now. Does any working parent really feel like they've nailed that all-important sense of balance when it comes to juggling family life with bringing home some bacon?
Over half (58%) of the parents surveyed said they are unable to do the daily school run due to work commitments while a similar number (41%) miss landmark moments in their child's school calendar – such as school plays and sports days – as a result of having limited flexibility in their working hours. Because of this, almost two fifths (38%) feel guilty that they are not as involved in their children's life as they think they should be. I'm surprised that number isn't higher, frankly.
But here's the really interesting bit of this data. Two fifths (40%) of mums and dads said they have considered setting up their own business to improve their work-life balance. Almost half (46%) think doing so would help them be more flexible with the hours and days they work, while four in ten (40%) say it would allow them to pick and choose important family moments not to miss.
Now maybe today's just been a bad day but as one of those self-employed parents who started a business in the hope of having better work / life balance than I could ever get from being employed, I'm feeling a bit like things didn't exactly work out quite as smoothly as I hoped they would.
Don't get me wrong; there are enormous benefits to being your own boss when you're raising a family. I've never missed a sports day or a school play and I can always do the school run. But contrary to popular belief, I'm not convinced that parents who run their own business do in actual fact end up with more flexible working lives.
As a case in point, I am the toughest boss I've ever worked for, and I don't think I've ever worked as hard for an employer as I do for my own business. Just today I was distracted by urgent emails and emergencies during most of the hours that my daughter was in my care. Yes, I was able to spend most of the day in the same room as her – but how much of me was fully present is frankly up for debate.
I sometimes wish I had the sort of office job that I could at least walk away from at the end of the day, instead of the kind that means I always have one eye on my phone – even during 'sacred' family moments such as during my daughter's bath time.
But enough about me - what's your view on this? Are you happy with your work / life balance? And have you ever considered starting your own business in the hope of achieving more balance? Do you think it would make a difference? If you ARE your own boss, do you think it affords you a greater sense of work / life balance? (I need to know where I'm going wrong...)
Most importantly, what would your dream work / life balance scenario look like? I'm guessing it includes winning the Lottery...
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