Designing Professional Routines That Suit You
Return To work Definition: For each of us, a return to work will have a different definition. What they will all have in common is the impact of a routine foisted upon us from the outside.
I don’t know about you, but when I have been out of routine and I regain one, I am usually grateful. Too many choices for too long on holiday and I am actually glad for the return of some time-boundaries. As a natural ‘disrupter’ I do benefit from some kind of structure.
My Return To work Definition
As a self-employed individual, I have developed a lot of my own routines. Sure, some are client-led and some are also led by the routines of the other important people in my life. The school run has its pros and certainly its cons! But what I do enjoy about self-employment is the ability to respond with agility within my business world. Whilst the autumn does bring with it the constraints of the school gate, Within those parameters, I am also freed to define my return to work by designing it my way. I have a new business strand developing and I can weave that into my every day without a second thought. I do not have huge swathes of unoccupied time (and if I did I would probably merely cause trouble anyhow!), but, I have designed my world so that I can pick and choose the clients who are the best fit, I can pick and choose those whom I consult in business terms, and, I can pick and choose when, where and how I do so.
I am an individual who does not respond well to a rule bound work environment. I have spent far too long thinking (and indeed saying), “but why don’t they change that?” when something plainly doesn’t serve its purpose. After years of feeling unheard, I decided to try and run it myself.
“I need to be able to do an about-turn on a whim”
I need to be able to do an about-turn on a whim. The reality is that what worked with one client last week, is unlikely to work within today’s collaboration. I will always have a plan for a coaching session but I would much rather abandon that if there is a more pressing need to be met. I am really open to feedback ‘What worked last year was this but now we need something very different’. None of the above are descriptions of failure. All of the above are calls to develop a new creative response in order to meet new needs.
So a return to work will always have connotations of others protocol being imposed upon us from the outside. It is our choice to locate the environment where there is the right amount room to move for each of us. Some people love to be told just what to do. Some people seek the autonomy to be really want to respond. I hate being a spinning wheel in an organization that is not willing to take feedback from its valuable cogs. I would rather have looser parameters and then design it as it is needed. There needs to be a balance between structure and autonomy in my return to work definition.