6 June 2018

‘Working 9-5’ is no longer the way to make a living

| Lachlan Roberts
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Brad Barnes is an ambassador for Flexible Working Day, which is an international day to celebrate and showcase the benefits of flexible work days. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Work-life balance – it’s a phrase we hear a lot these days. We talk to our family, friends and colleagues about achieving the perfect work-life balance but it’s easier said than done when it comes to getting that balance right.

Local Canberran Brad Barnes believes a flexible working day is the key to master the balance and is encouraging other Canberrans to pause and take a moment today (6 June) to think about the benefits of having flexible working hours.

Brad is an ambassador for Flexible Working Day, which is an international day to celebrate and showcase the benefits of flexible work hours. Brad only became aware of the movement when he bumped into an old workmate a couple of months ago, who introduced him to Vanessa Vanderhoek, the founder of Flexible Working Day.

From that day on, Brad had a passion to encourage his friends to influence their workplace to allow people to work in ways that best support them, their lives and their talents.

The way that Vanessa Vanderhoek put it is “a call to action to tackle flexism.”

With two active boys and his wife Emma working shift work at Qantas, balancing work, the school drop off, after-school activities and his own pursuits have always been a challenge.

“Having flexibility in my work day allows me to go and see my boys’ events at school and also take them to their after-school activities which is important to me,” Brad said.

“I have a career at Callida Consulting, who are strong supporters of my flexible working arrangements.”

“Giving employees the trust and responsibility to work from home, or work outside regular business hours creates an enhanced work ethic and refreshed mindset.”

Brad encourages the average Canberran to figure out their work-life balance and to approach their boss to talk about ways to make their work-life more flexible.

There are plenty of benefits to flexible working arrangements. Employees under stress in their personal lives are given the opportunity to put their families first while still achieving their goals at work. The office environment consequently becomes a source of enjoyment and satisfaction rather than a place of obligation and tension. Flexible working encourages people to be the best version of themselves, whilst allowing employers to achieve their desired outcomes.

“Everyone is different, and not everyone has kids, but they would have other interests they want to achieve outside of work. It’s about finding the balance between career aspirations, social interaction, sports, healthy lifestyle, all those sorts of things,” he said.

“For me, part of that balance is physical activity. I have played sport all my life and I coach kid’s basketball, so it is important for me to find that time for sport, which helps me feel refreshed. If I am not active and if I don’t have ‘me’ time, I am restless and I don’t achieve my goals at work.”

Since he joined Callida Consulting 12 months ago, Brad has found his life has significantly improved in many ways. His stress levels have reduced which has had a significant impact on him and his family.

“Having an employer that embraces flexible working arrangements allows me to maintain the right balance in my life while also achieving career and family goals that are important to me. I encourage others to take the time today to talk to your workplace about how to figure out the perfect work-life balance.”

To see how you can get involved and learn more about Flexible Working Day, click here.

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