New Year – New Start – New Resolutions – New Job?
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day for me was a 220-mile drive home after visiting friends and family in the North. It was a fairly easy run actually, as most sensible people weren’t on the road in the rain and they were probably still enjoying the festivities with their loved ones.
It brought back memories. Memories of driving day in and day out….mile after mile, stuck in early morning traffic in miserable weather with the knowledge that I had to do it all again at the end of the day. I remembered Winters with a shiver getting into the car in the dark to drive to work, driving home again in the dark and seeing very little daylight in between and Summers trapped in my car in motorway jams when I could have spent time actually enjoying the weather. I thanked my lucky stars that I now have a more flexible role; that the car only comes out for trips I genuinely WANT to make.
I got home and settled in for a couple of catch up phone calls and scrolled through my social media. It was full of despairing comments about returning to work! It was full of people bemoaning the fact that they had to pop out to fill up with fuel, get their work clothes ironed and ready, sort out childcare for youngsters, something to keep the teens busy, dashing out to get milk and essentials for the family tomorrow and a general air of doom and gloom. And that was just from my friends who have jobs that they actually like; even love in some cases! The comments from friends who really aren’t happy at work were unrepeatable!
Stories of back to work blues
The weather was truly awful and at it had been dark since late afternoon. I grabbed a coffee and the ‘phone and rang a girlfriend to wish her and her family a Happy New Year. The theme of returning to work continued and moved on a pace as she moaned and groaned about the increased rail fares to central London and how much time it took to get to the station now that the sprawling new housing estate had been completed. I really felt for her as she explained that she hadn’t had a raise in over 18 months and her disposable income was dwindling with rising coffee costs, train fares and sandwiches in central London – her four hour commute was killing her and the kids and her husband dragged every last bit of energy from her when she finally got home leaving her feeling shattered and guilty for wanting to crawl to bed at 9 pm. The holidays had been quite simply wonderful and they’d had the most relaxing and fun time – my friend absolutely did not want to go back to work.
I hung up and called my cousin – we hadn’t spoken for a couple of months so I was looking forward to talking to her and hoped her mood was better than my friend’s. It certainly was. She too was back to work on the 2nd. But what a difference! Her company had struggled in 2017 with train and bus strikes, terror attacks, weather disruptions and lost business due to people simply not being able to get to work. They’d previously shied away from remote working, citing the usual issues of confidentiality, data security, confidence in people to actually work – but the events of 2017 had taken their toll and so, over the summer, typically a quiet period, they’d trialled homeworking and flexible hours. And it had worked! It had been rolled out across all departments and my cousin and many of her colleagues now worked 2 or 3 days a week from home. The company wasn’t going ahead with a second office – they don’t need the space now that their ‘hotdesking’ policy is in place – so they’re saving money too. My cousin is also saving – to the tune of £40 a week on fares and coffees. She starts work earlier in the days she’s not hacking into London, finishing earlier and getting more done. She’s never late on the days she’s working from home! Unlike my stressed out friend my cousin doesn’t have children, but she has more time for her partner and more time for herself – along with more disposable income from the savings she makes. My cousin planned to work from home for a couple of days and had a whole schedule to get through but without the commute, ironing, worry about weather delaying trains she was relaxed, happy and chatted about Christmas, seeing family and friends and looked forward to getting back into a working routine. Her comment to me as we said our goodbyes was ‘Sue; Abodoo must be the most popular website in the world right now! If my company hadn’t moved to a smart approach and offered more flexibility I was going to sign up myself’
The difference a new job smart, remote or flexible working can make
It’s amazing the difference a remote or flexible role can make, not just to your attitude to work but to your life. Stress levels reduce, costs reduce and productivity and happiness levels are up.
I posted on my facebook page after the last call, encouraging all those poor people suffering from commuter stress to sign up with Abodoo, find that dream job with that dream company – one that truly appreciates them and offers a genuine work:life balance; it’s up to them to make a change for the better in 2018.
If you’ve had enough of the daily grind and want to focus on your job instead of the trains, buses, and ever-increasing traffic jams; sign up at www.abodoo.com – it could change your life!