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What does work/life balance really mean?

What does work/life balance really mean?

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A recent survey reports that up to 30% of us have thought about leaving our current employment to achieve a better work/life balance.

This statistic is certainly not new, but the train of thought is gaining more and more momentum and I believe is critical to the retention of many in the workforce. Today, great employers are opening their minds to flexible working conditions, and in most cases, I believe the outcome is lower stress, improved mental wellbeing and increased productivity.

During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many of us were forced into working from home with little to no warning. In many places, returning to the workplace just isn't possible yet and the work from home continues. While those who are not a working parent may see being able to do laundry on a lunch break and such getting more time back at the end of the day as work/life balance, I can say that as a mum, homeschooling has been a challenge and certainly isn't work/life balance. Kudos to all the mums out there doing a great job during the lockdown periods.

While there are many different reasons for wanting, or needing, flexible working conditions in a normal (pre-COVID) world, speaking from my own experience as a working mother of three kids, I am one of the fortunate ones that have a supportive Manager and team around me at Fuse Recruitment.

My reality is that I adore my kids and I love my job BUT ……. the struggle (juggle) is REAL! Being a working parent means that I constantly juggle competing priorities with not enough time in the day. I know this juggle is something that so many people experience but the reality is that keeping so many balls in the air means that it is inevitable that sometimes a couple of those balls drop straight out of the sky.

My journey as a working parent has evolved over the last 14 years, but most recently at Fuse Recruitment over the past 7 years. I still have days when I think ‘Why am I doing this?’ or ‘How am I going to get everything done?’ but for the most part, I already know the answer. I do it because I want to provide a great future for my kids and because I feel that I can contribute a great deal and feel valued by my employer.

Of course, my busy schedule does not run smoothly all the time and sometimes;

  • I don’t make it to every school/sports event

  • I am not always the first person in the office or the last person to leave

  • My kids come into the office when they are sick

  • I must take work home to get finished

​But it truly is the flexibility and balance that makes it all possible. When my two worlds can coexist in harmony, I can be at my best as a Mother, an Employee and a Leader.