The face of traditional employment is changing rapidly, and more and more people are choosing positions that allow them to work flexibly, either from home or from remote locations, or working hours that are not limited to the typical 9-5 working day.
A recent survey highlighted that more than 35% of people in Ireland are now working flexible hours, and this appears to be great news for employers and employees alike, as well as the high figures of self employed people working flexibly. If you’re not yet working flexibly, or if you want to make this arrangement more effective for you and your business, read on for our top tips on making it work.
1. Pinpoint your goals. The amount of hours you work is not the most important thing when you’re working flexibly, but what you achieve in this time is a great place to start. You will need to focus on making goals for each day, week month or even hour, and realising these in the time you have. Your productivity will change over time and you will become more adept at pinpointing exactly what needs to be done, but this is a great way to ensure that you have measurable outcomes wherever you happen to work from.
2. Be professional. Most people find that working from home or remotely gives them a greater amount of freedom to fit in other commitments, like keeping fit and family life. This is a huge benefit, but some people find it difficult to manage their time when they are working flexibly, and this can lead to problems. Try to establish a routine, focus on what you need to do to meet your goals within your working hours, and don’t be tempted to stay in bed and work while you are not in the right mindset!
3. Connect with others. If you’re working for an organisation, you’ll need to stay in touch with your colleagues and management, and ensure that you are fully informed of relevant issues. You may find that it is easier to work independently, without being dragged into office drama, but it can present difficulties if you are not in regular contact with those you work with.
4. Set up for success. When you’re starting out in a flexible role it can be a good idea to set up a working space that contains everything you need in your working life. If you require specialist equipment or tools, ensure that you can access these whenever you need to, and make sure that you resolve any difficulties as soon as possible so that you do not compromise your professionalism or your productivity.
5. Enjoy the perks. The whole point of flexible working is to embrace a better work life balance, so don’t feel guilty for working in the evenings and spending time with your family during the day, for example. Your output should reveal that you are meeting your goals, and if you break up your day with coffee dates and online tasks, you should see this as a positive way to use your time.
CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist Technical and Executive Recruitment firm, and our team will work with you to find the best positions in the Medical Device, Sciences/Pharma and ICT industries.
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.
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