Have you ever wished that you could fit more personal time into your day? Maybe it's doing activities with your family, getting a few hours of exercise, catching up on life admin, or just taking some time out for yourself.
The good news is that since Covid, flexible working arrangements have become a lot more socially acceptable in Australia.
As more and more people prioritise a work-life balance that suits their lifestyle, flexible work arrangements have become an essential tool for achieving that balance. This is especially true for tradespeople, who work long and sometimes unpredictable hours. Whether you run your own business, or are an employee, it’s never too early or late in your career to start adopting flexible work practices.
8 ways flexible work arrangements help you
- More time to spend with family
Fostering a culture where people can take time off for personal events gives people the opportunity to spend more quality time with their loved ones.
- Increased job satisfaction
Flexible work arrangements can help boost job satisfaction for you, and your employees, if you’re a business owner. Giving your staff some leeway for when they can start and finish will show them that you value their time and they’re more likely to be loyal to you.
- Improved productivity
Working outside of the traditional 7-3 structure might not always work for your trade business. But allowing some flexibility for start and finish times can help get tasks done faster and more efficiently.
- Better mental health
Working a reduced week or fortnight can help you manage your work life balance better. Or, if you work in a fast paced environment where reduced days aren’t an option, try taking some time off at the end of a project or peak period. Having time off to rejuvenate and reduce the chance of you or your staff burning out, and overall can improve emotional wellbeing.
- Less commuting time
Is there an option for your staff to travel to a job site outside of peak traffic times? This isn’t just more efficient for you as a business owner. Getting to and from work quicker gives workers more time either before or after work to attend to personal commitments such as after school sports for the kids, or group fitness classes.
- More opportunities for learning
Having an arrangement whereby you or your staff can take time off to study, helps everyone stay up to date with industry trends and enrich their knowledge base.
- Increased earning potential
Working flexibly can enable tradies to increase their income by taking on extra shifts or working longer hours when needed without having the worry of needing an entire day off from work.
- Access to better technology
With access to cloud-based tools such as project and task management systems, tradies can easily manage projects on the go and stay up to date with all their jobs.
How to create flexible work habits
Creating flexible work habits isn't always easy, but it can make a big difference to how much time you are able to dedicate to work and family. Here are some tips:
- Communicate with your boss. Talk to them about the type of flexibility that works best for you, so they can help you create a schedule that suits your needs.
- If you're a self employed tradesperson, make sure you have a system in place to track your income and expenses.
- If you own a business, find out what personal commitments your tradies have and look for ways to enable them to meet those commitments.
- Set specific goals on an ongoing basis and then strive to achieve them in the most efficient way possible. That way, you’ll have more free time at the end of each day.
- Take advantage of mobile technology such as laptops and smartphones to keep up with work while away from the office
- Prioritise self-care. Make sure that you take breaks when needed and carve out time for yourself to relax and recharge. This will help keep you energised and productive throughout the day.
Creating good habits helps strike a healthier work life balance. So why not give it a try? You may just find that flexible working gives you the freedom to reach your full potential.