Friday, 10 January 2014

Adapted Working Hours

I think a lot of people that consider setting up their own business believe that they can conform to normal business hours where they live. While it is nice in theory I don't think that it really works in practice, especially not for service based industries.

As a working mom with three children I find that my time is often called upon by both family and work commitments at the same time. The advance of being my own boss of course is that I can, within reason, accommodate both the demands of work and family when then clash. I can take time off from work to go and watch my daughters in their school sports day, or help out at school when they need help, but by the same token when I am swamped with work I am able to spend the time I need working.

My regular clients understand that while I hit deadlines on a regular basis every now and then there may be a time when I need to stretch the deadline an hour or so.

On the flip side of that my daughters all understand that I may need to put in some hours when I normally wouldn't. This may mean that I need to work in the afternoon when they are home or on a weekend, although I do try not to. By not working in the afternoon it does mean that my conventional working day is foreshortened. I therefore need to make up those hours and this means either working at night once they are asleep or alternatively getting up early before them.

I am fortunate in that the majority of the work that I do does not require constant communication with my clients so these unusual business hours are not a problem. I do however keep my phone with me at all times so if they do need to contact me urgently then I am available even when out of the house.

I would love to hear how other working business owners deal with their working day?


  1. I wish somehow we'd thought to have you write this article back at the beginning of 2012 when I moved back home. That would have been so handy, because when I moved to Phokeng, I had to adapt, because the way I worked before was no longer applicable. I was not prepared emotionally to do it and so, it was rough. It's only in the past couple of months that I've found my groove.

  2. Ah Damaria, I had the learning curve around the same time. After Jodi was born working with her around was the start for me.

  3. Normal business hours … What’s that? I do enjoy being able to have such a flexible schedule. However, I feel so odd stating my hours are 8am until 3:30pm when I’m constantly responding to clients or making posts at 8pm!

    I do have to set a list of MUST – DO’s and knock those out first thing in the morning. Anything additional after that is happy hour!