It is in the nature of freelance work that there are periods of plenty and periods of quiet; the silence on this blog of late is testament to a busy year.
Wonklifebalance is fortunate to have the flexibility to work from home for much of the time – a job judged by productivity and results rather than presence at all times. As for all working parents, the long summer holidays complicate routines, but with sufficiently flexible working arrangements (and sufficiently old children) you can balance a bit of getting work done when the kids are around, with time in holiday schemes for the children, and roping in the grandparents here and there.
At the beginning of the holidays I found myself saying that I was about to ‘disappear’ whilst organising a roster of pre-summer meetings while the kids were still in school. On reflection, though, I wonder if this is doing us part-time and flexible types a disservice? What happened when I ‘disappeared’? Well, like many other families we took a two-week holiday. And for the rest of the time I did everything else I normally do – wrote documents to deadline, went into the office for key meetings (see arrangements above) and conducted a great deal of business by e-mail.
Part-time, flexible work can have its downsides in terms of stability and career progression, as well as the ups of being able to organise a schedule independently, fitting in and fitting around family needs. It’s easy to feel invisible when not going into the office every day; but the work is out there in the public domain. So next summer (contracts permitting) I will not be ‘disappearing’, instead I’ll be ‘working a couple of extra days from home’…