Last week, one of my fabulous freelance members of the A&D crew emailed me, deeply apologetic that she hadn’t replied to my emails on a Thursday.
I was a little confused, she has kids, I know she juggles her gorgeous small children, her life and working with A&D at times when the little ones are in nursery. So I immediately replied with a ‘No problem love- I never expect you to do anything outside of your usual hours!’.
But it made me think – clearly there’s some expectations unclarified that means she feels bad. Eeeek!
This year I have been making a HUGE effort to let go of the overwhelm and run my dream business (yet to have a bike and office like Anne Hathway in The Intern, but we’re working on it). That means long lunch hours, walks in the Peak with the dog, mid-afternoon coffee catchups and the occasional hair or nail appointment at 11am. I work best at around 6.30am. So why restrict myself to the 9-5?! I left the corporate world to allow myself creative freedom, and yet my out-of-office said I’d reply Mon-Fri, 9-5. Whoops.
So as of Monday this week, my out of office now says the following:
Thank you for your email, I try and respond to all emails within 48 hours. Here at A&D we work dedicatedly on your projects at various hours of the day, so may occasionally email at the weekend and after hours. Please don’t feel you need to reply until you’re in work-mode yourself!
So we’re still 100% on it, but we’re not going to expect replies when you need to do the school run or want a lie-in! Because life is important. We want to live it.
A&D is about freedom. It’s about support, and empowerment. And we won’t chain you to a desk – let’s let go of the work-hours guilt and get sh*t done when we work best!
Wanna see our top tools for flexible working? We’ve been unchaining ourselves here at A&D using the following:
Trello (or Asana)
We love a group Whatsapp here for quick FYIs, but in the effort to create more space for life (anyone actually hate being available 24/7 on Whatsapp?!) I’ll be introducing A&D Slack soon for our team & clients.
For more team chat options, see also: Workplace by Facebook
Team calls are awesome. So are client ones! But driving 100 miles for an hour meeting? No ta. The greener and much more comfortable option is dialling in using our fav, Zoom.
And finally, when we’re on a deadline or working to a specific hours allowance, we use Toggl to monitor hours and run reports about where we’ve spent our time! (Check out RescueTime to be seriously freaked out about your Facebook and Netflix hours!)
Do you use any of these? Do you have a favourite?