Finding the perfect balance

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Donna Black shares her story about how, after years of compromise, she has found the right balance with her work set-up.

I really miss the hours I spent in the car every day commuting to and from the office. Wasn’t it great when yet another set of road works popped up to add an extra half hour to my journey? I loved those days when I rushed home only to find that yet again, I’d missed my children’s bedtime. Said no one ever.

After spending my 20s living and working in cities, I followed my heart in my 30s and realised that I was happiest living in the countryside. But my career has always been really important to me too, so the compromise was that I lived in a rural area, but spent hours commuting into the city to work. Eventually it started to take its toll.

When I started working with MD Communications all of that changed. I now work from home most of the time. We are a team of senior communications experts and where we live is no barrier. What matters is our expertise, not our location.

I travel to London (or wherever our clients need me to be) when needed, but the majority of time I work from home.

I live in West Cornwall now. My children go to a small village school, where they run down to play on the beach after the bell goes. I live minutes from the sea and I walk my dog on the coastal path every day. My home life is exactly what I’ve always dreamed it would be.

And my career has never been more fulfilling. I work with fantastic clients all over the UK and internationally too. The work is varied, fascinating and challenging and gives me enormous satisfaction.

All of this makes me very happy, and we all know when we are content and happy, we are more productive at work too. Everyone is a winner!

Of course, remote and hybrid working need a different mindset to work effectively. At MD Communications we use daily check-ins on Google Spaces to share what we’re working on that day and ask for advice or support where we need it.

My colleagues who live in or near London get together in the office once a week, and those of us who live further away join remotely. I’ve never once felt that I am a less valued member of the team because of working from home.

As I read headlines about some businesses wanting more bums on seats in offices and moving away from the flexibility that they were forced to allow employees during the pandemic, my heart sinks.

After years of compromise, I’ve finally found a perfect balance in my life, and it has made a world of difference.

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