With negative media reports of staff working and sending emails after traditional working hours, it got me thinking – do we need to worry that our team are working unsociable hours in these times, or is this better for them?
The Blue Yonder team have all been incredible throughout the pandemic and have worked over and above our expectations. The team itself is made up of a mix of people without children and parents with children of various ages (from nursery age up to university). Our parents have been given the flexibility to concentrate on home schooling during what would be their normal working hours and then fit work outside of this. I think this has made the situation less stressful, instead of expecting parents to juggle work and schooling at the same time.
Even team members who don’t have children are changing to more flexible times of working to suit parents, as they understand how difficult it is for all concerned, which is a fantastic show of support. Of course, the team don’t expect everyone to work the same (sometimes unsociable hours), but it’s lovely to see how everyone is willing to step up for each other.
How can leaders expect parents to be full time teachers, parents, cooks, first aiders, entertainers AND a full-time member of staff, all between the hours of 9.00am-3.30pm every day? It’s hard enough doing them all separately but at the same time, it seems impossible. Parents really need a medal for all the different responsibilities that they have at the moment.
If they need time during the day let them take it! It is so beneficial for them to be able to have a walk/run/some me-time, breathing in fresh air and seeing the green shoots of spring to re-balance their mind in daylight hours. A time out is far better for their mindset and mental health, rather than doing all the above at the same time during the traditional working day. If they have found things easier organising their daily work commitments when their children have gone to bed, with no interruptions, as long as they are happier doing their work that way and client expectations are met, then we are happy too. Flexible working times are evolving and adapting at Blue Yonder to suit our teams needs. If this is the best way for them to meet their commitments, then I believe it’s the way forward in these times.
I often see first-hand how hard the team work – our accounts executive juggles all of her responsibilities with a child in primary school and a toddler. She is a complete hero with a smile on her face whilst doing it all. Hats off to all our team who have changed their daily lives to help each other out. These small considerations make a big difference for the welfare of everyone involved. In these times, ‘working hours’ are what works best for you and whenever that may be, is whenever you want it to be! A lot of our staff now have a side note in their emails that state they work flexibly and don’t expect a reply outside of standard working hours.
So next time you see an email sent at a strange time, just go with it, it was probably the best time for them and what’s more important is asking them how they are doing and working around their busier than usual lives. As the end of lockdown and home schooling seems promising, we look to the future but agree this past year and a half has taught us some very significant life (and work) lessons. And most importantly, have bought us even closer together as a team!