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Ops Managers work life balance

Operational Managers Hazel and Fran tell us about how they achieve their work life balance.

Those who know me well know I am a doing person. Why put off until tomorrow what can be done today is a motto I live by in both my personal and work life. There is nothing wrong with that until it turns in to why put off what can be done in the next week if you can do it all today!!!!!!! I pride myself on my multi-tasking – why do one thing at a time when I can do three things at a time.

But now I am starting a new journey. I have started doing mindfulness, a painful experience at first. My multi-tasking head was thinking of all the things I could be doing in that 10 minute. I cheated a lot at first doing mindful washing up, mindful cleaning and even resorted to mindful running!!!! But gradually I stopped and allowed that space in my head. For the first time I was experiencing what it was like to stop.

That got me thinking that maybe I could create some real time for me. I made the decision to apply for flexible working. To create a day for me. This was an alien concept but I went with it and I am now the proud owner of a ‘Hazel Friday.’ Me and my Friday are still getting used to each other. I won’t lie, it still feels a little indulgent and I still get tempted to pack a weeks’ worth of things in the day but I am getting there. Me and my Friday are at our happiest by the sea wearing my Community Links hoody which has to be the perfect work life balance!!

Ops Manager Hazel

Having a baby was always going to have an impact on my work life balance and when I had my son in 2017 I made the decision to return to work part- time.

Working flexibly has helped me to adjust to my new life as a working parent by allowing me to spend time caring for my son and helping him settle in to nursery. Equally it has been great to return to the same role and use a different part of my brain again after a year of maternity leave and nursery rhymes!

One of the biggest changes for me has been around changing the way that I work – having worked full time for Community Links for over a decade this remains my biggest challenge. Luckily we have lots of things in place as an organisation to support agile working and this is an area we continue to develop for everyone: for my role I am able to work from any office base or home as we have the technology to allow this and as I support services based in Kirklees it really helpful to keep in touch via email, phone and skype.

I feel glad to have been able to adapt my working practices to fit with my new caring responsibilities and have been well supported by the organisation to do this. I would encourage anyone interested in working flexibly to discuss whether practical changes can be made to help juggle commitments.

Ops Manager Fran