Finding my balance – The Yobah Way

Work-life balance are 3 words that have been bandied around for a long time. I always thought I understood them and I believed I had a good balance.

Since joining Yobah 5 months ago, I’ve realised I really didn’t. Working 50 hours a week, and cramming as much ‘life’ into the remaining day and a half a week does not constitute balance.

In reality, it should actually be known as Life Work balance, not only does it make alphabetical sense, it’s obvious that the work aspect relies much more heavily on the life part, rather than the other way around. A well-rested and relaxed employee is far more effective than one who spends their work time wishing they were somewhere else or focused on rushing home to make sure they get to see their children before bedtime. It’s an overused cliché, but its quality over quantity. That’s a mantra that Yobah implement to the benefit of the employees as well as the business. As long as the work I produce and conduct is of high quality it doesn’t matter if I’m working from my home office, our hub in Manchester, or even by the pool in Spain. It’s not about the hours at the desk or even where that desk happens to be and it’s a refreshing change.

The freedom to work where I want, and to be flexible in my hours means that I now see my daughter more than 10 minutes a day. I get to spend more quality time with my wife most days, rather than just scoffing my tea down whilst watching an episode of whichever Netflix series we were binge watching before going to bed. I get to spend more time with friends, or at the rugby club without feeling I’m missing out on the little bit of family time I got a week.

I understand that not every company or role lends itself to the ease of working from anywhere, but there is no reason that the majority of employers can’t be a little more flexible with hours. In a previous role, I had to change the nursery I put my daughter into because my employer wouldn’t change my working times by 15-30 minutes. That shift would have made no difference to the amount of time I was there, I’d have stayed later, or to the quality of my work but instead, it just added a little resentment to my attitude.

The ongoing trials into a 4-day working week have received a lot of coverage and reports that companies that adopted a four-day week found that over three-quarters of staff (78%) were happier, less stressed (70%) and took fewer days off ill (62%), and in 2019 Microsoft Japan saw a 40% boost to productivity after implementing a 4-day working week. I’m not saying that a 4-day week is the answer, but it reiterates the point that if you look after your people, they will look after their employers. We spend so much of our time at work why would you not as an employer make it work with the lives of your employees rather than against them. – I know I’m happier this way.

Life Work balance is the Yobah way and I love it. 

Alex Jenner

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