Ways to Make Your Working Life More Flexible

People all over the world are starting to reject the traditional rigid model of working life. They don’t want to have their entire working year mapped out before them from January 1, and instead are expressing their desire for something altogether more flexible. They’re tired of the rat race and want to regain a proper work-life balance. 

If this sounds like you, then you shouldn’t feel powerless to take action right away. There are many things you can do to make your working life more flexible. Below are some ideas:

1. Consider Hot Desking

Many of us have used the opportunity presented by the pandemic and the shifting professional landscape to try and break out on our own, create our own business and take control of our lives. What we often find, however, is that we are chained to a desk in a room at home. Hot desks allow you to work when and where you want, and without breaking the bank. You can give your fledgling enterprise a professional address, maintain a good work-life balance, gain a nice office space with little overhead…the benefits just go on and on.

2. Build Up Your Skill Base

When was the last time you added new skills to your CV? Adding new strings to your bow widens your choices when it comes to getting new responsibilities in your existing job and/or applying for new opportunities at a different workplace. The more you know, the more you can do for others, even if you want to branch out and go freelance. The more skills you have, the more flexible you can be in your working life.

3. Prioritise Work You Love

The fact is that if you don’t love the work you do, you’ll never get the kind of flexibility and balance that will make you happier. When you don’t like the work, every hour is one hour too many. Therefore, if you want to get a balance back, then you need to have work that you love doing at the centre of all that. This may mean making some changes to your working conditions, or even your position, but if you don’t have this fundamental point right, then the rest won’t work, either.

4. Learn to Delegate

If you’re in a management or leadership position, learning to delegate tasks to your team can be hard, especially if you’re new in the role and are used to being very hands on, getting into the weeds on every problem. The trouble is that sooner or later you’ll get too bogged down in menial tasks and you’ll find they consume your every spare hour. It’s important as a leader that you focus on the big picture, which is always more important, but not always quite as time consuming.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No” to Additional Projects

If your plate is currently quite full, then you shouldn’t keep accepting additional projects just because you feel you have to. Not only will the additional work eat into your rest, recreation and family time, but the quality of your work is bound to suffer also. Working up the courage to politely decline extra work is tough, especially when you want to make a good impression at work, but the fact is that it’s better for your mental health in the long run, and consistent quality along with a fair explanation of your current workload should ensure no manager thinks worse of you.

In the end, if you want more flexibility in your working life, you need to take action yourself. It won’t just suddenly come to you. It’s something you need to fight for!

Adam Hansen