The Dark Side of the “Struggle to Juggle”

By: Kate Broadley

1D6A0555Last week I wrote about the some of the benefits for employers and employees of using flexible work practices. But I thought to be fair, I should talk about the challenges, or the dark side as I call it.

In reality, flexibility does not work in all workplaces. Yes I work from home, but not everyone can do this. One must be willing to work independently and alone. Of course there are fewer distractions and I get to avoid those unnecessary interruptions, but there is no office vibe or excitement, and no one to exchange ideas with. While this works for me, there are times in a business environment when your expertise is required and missed in the workplace, if you are not there! The type of work I do requires at times a quiet place where I can analyse information and write reports, so the home office is the perfect place. On the other hand, a lot of work requires you to be in the very hub of activity in the workplace. I don’t get distracted at home, but others find it impossible to focus.

I work in a small business with two fantastic directors, who are comfortable communicating with me through various mediums other than face to face, and who support and trust me to deliver what I need for the business. It helps that my goals and outcomes are clearly measurable. This has not come about overnight and I think it is unfair for employees to expect this. It has been created over time and built through trust, delivery of quantifiable and measurable outcomes, and some ups and downs along the way. In my opinion, without mutual trust, support and measurable outcomes, this type of flexibility cannot work.

And finally, I am never off the grid, given all the wonderful technological gadgets we now have access to, which create the opportunity for greater flexibility to fit work in and around all of life’s other activities. But whether technology has enabled greater freedom from the workplace is debatable. It is easy for working “anywhere, anytime” to turn into working “everywhere, all the time”. I check my emails all the time, I hate to admit this, but often before breakfast and even when on holidays. I am not expected to do this, but it helps me manage my workload. I like to multi-task, but does this simply exacerbate the “struggle to juggle” and put us at risk of burnout, which is one of the very things, flexible work practices seek to avoid?

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This entry was posted in Communicating, Culture and Morale, Flexability, Hiring, Job Satisfaction, Queensland, work enviornment, Work Satisfactin, Workplace and tagged , , , , , , by Eden Ritchie Recruitment. Bookmark the permalink.

About Eden Ritchie Recruitment

We are a Brisbane business developed with the needs of the Queensland market in mind. Being locally owned and operated ensures that we are committed to playing our part in growing the Queensland economy. Eden Ritchie Recruitment was established in March 1996 by Kim Ritchie and Justine Eden, whose combined recruitment industry experience exceeds 40 years. Since its inception Eden Ritchie Recruitment has gone from strength to strength. Why? For the same reason all good businesses succeed; ability, commitment, dedication, self-belief and tenacity. However more important than all of these necessary attributes, there exists the innate understanding that to succeed in this competitive market, we must constantly adapt and recast ourselves to ensure our continuous alignment with the needs of both employers and candidates. We believe that ‘focused’ is the word that best describes our approach to all aspects of the recruitment profession. Our mission statement: To provide a professional, individually tailored recruitment service to both employers and candidates through the development of long term relationships and an understanding of market demands.

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