Okay, I know I normally do short rants, but there is just so much to say on the subject of flexible working isn’t there? Plus I want to talk to you about the Hire Me My Way campaign for more part-time and flexible jobs, and I have a personal story from another blogger to share, so all in all it’s a pretty jam-packed post.
You lucky things!
When you stop to think about ‘work’ as a concept, it’s crazy really. Let’s take your basic office job. A 9am start maybe? An hour for lunch, and then home in time for Pointless and some fish fingers and chips. For starters, the whole idea of everyone going to work and going home at the same time is madness. It’s not wonder we have traffic problems is it?! I mean, who came up with that?! ‘Oh yeah, I know, it would be GREAT if we had everyone try to travel to and from work at the same time everyday! Wouldn’t that be AWESOME?’
No, it’s not awesome.
And then you’ve got the whole productivity issue. All of the research, like this, says that flexible working increases productivity, that when we trust our staff to work from home, or to work compressed hours, or whatever it might be, that we get more out of them. So why are so many employers still so scared to embrace flexible working?
Do they not trust us? Do they imagine that the minute they’re not looking, everyone will just be at home playing on Facebook? Because I hate to break it to you bosses, but there are plenty of people sat at their desks right now sneaking a look at Facebook – keeping them locked in an office for set hours every day isn’t going to solve that.
I consider myself very lucky that I’ve never had to worry about fertility. In fact, it’s almost been the opposite. Bee was born when I was 17. (A bit of an accident, although very handily she was born at the end of July, which meant she fitted very nicely into the summer holidays between the first and second year of my A-levels.)
Belle was born when I was 24, conceived in the first month after I came off the pill, thinking to myself ‘I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if I was pregnant at some point in the next year or so.’
It was weird though second time around, as I felt so old, and yet clearly I wasn’t. I was, (and still am – that’s how time works), the youngest in the group of friends I met when Belle was a baby. The extra difference being that they were pretty much all having their first child. None of them had seven year olds in tow.
There is a downside though to all of this.
Because I’ve never really had to think about my fertility, I’m rubbish when it comes to periods. I’ll happily just bumble along through the month, totally oblivious to my own body, until one day I suddenly feel tired and sad, and like I want to stab someone with a fork.
It kind of scares me.
‘Oh no!’ I think to myself. ‘This is it! There’s something wrong with me, I’m going to be sad forever!’
And then the next day I get my period.
Ohhhhhhh! View Post
You may remember that a week or so ago I had a play with the Aviva Shape my Future tool to get a prediction of my income on retirement, given my current situation and pension contributions. Have a look now if you don’t remember. (Or if you enjoyed it so much you want to read it again.)
The conclusion was pretty straightforward – save more now, or spend less as a pensioner. Not exactly a win win situation is it? In a bid to encourage me that the first of the two options would probably be the most sensible, Aviva challenged me to live for seven days on my predicted pension of £318 a week. Easy peasy you might think, that’s not a bad income really. Consider though the fact that I don’t actually own my own house, and you can see that it is going to disappear very quickly indeed.
Have a quick go now on the Shape my Future tool to work out what your predicted pension is and let me know whether or not you think you could live on it!
As you may have picked up in the seven or so years that I’ve been blogging, I don’t have what you’d call a passion for housework. My ideal way of spending less time ironing is simply to not do it, and instead to wear stretchy clothes where the creases get sort of pulled flat.
Or, to get out of ironing other people’s clothes, you could try the method I accidentally employed on an ex-boyfriend. I was trying to be helpful and was ironing a few shirts. I was doing his favourite white shirt when Bee showed me a picture of a baby doing something cute. I can’t remember what exactly – it was dressed up as a lobster or something like that I think.
I laughed and dropped the iron on the floor.
I figured that if I just picked it up really quickly and carried on, that no one would notice. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the large amount of carpet that had melted onto the iron and which I then proceeded to iron onto the back of the shirt.
I wasn’t hugely popular when the boyfriend got home to find a patch of carpet missing. Even less popular when he discovered the missing patch had found a new home on his shirt.
I do appreciate though that neither of these approaches are an effective long term strategy, and that ironing is one of those things that you just have to do, both for everyday things and more special occasions. Like last week when I bought new curtains for the two windows in our bedroom. Seriously, it felt like I was ironing those curtains for about two days. View Post
If you’ve not discovered Sainsbury’s yet for clothes and homeware then WAKE UP!! Where have you been?? Living under a rock?!
It’s a well established fact that pretty much half my wardrobe comes from Sainsbury’s, but the rest of the house has been following suit recently as I’m be taking a look at some of the autumnal goodies in the Sainsbury’s homeware range.
Autumn has to be pretty much my favourite season. I’m tempted to say winter, because it just about contains Christmas, but it’s actually the build up to Christmas that I love most, rather than the day itself. By the 25th I’m pretty much done. I like the evenings getting darker, and the smell of mulled wine and mince pies. I like snuggling under cosy blankets, lighting candles, and watching Christmas films made for TV.
I’ve got a bit of a mustard theme going on in my living room already, so the Harvest Collection from Sainsbury’s fits perfectly. They do items for every room in the house, but I chose to focus on the living room – think cosy cushions, snuggly blankets and subtle autumn colours.
Now, if you’ve been to my house recently, you might be slightly suspicious about my need for any more cushions and blankets but I say ‘can you ever have too many?’
No is my answer. You can never go into autumn with too many blankets.
Have a look at the range online, but have a rummage in your local store too, as they’ll often have pieces in store that aren’t online. Here are some of my favourite pieces. View Post