As I approach my 10th anniversary with Orgwide, I have worked a flexible work schedule longer than I worked a traditional work schedule. In that time, I have read numerous articles and blogs and even a couple of books on the topics of how to be successful in a flexible working environment, working from home, life and work balance, etc. While the tips and tricks have been good, I believe my success in a flexible work environment comes down to two things: identifying and planning.

As I start each week, I identify what needs to be done. This included both client project work, internal project work and administrative duties. Not only do you need to identify what needs to get, but when it needs to get done. Being successful in the flexible work environment means you meet all deadlines and exceed them when possible. A missed deadline in the flexible work environment can speak very loudly as you don’t have the face-to-face interactions to bolster your credibility.

The next step is to create a plan of what I will be working on ahead of time. Creating a plan allows me to anticipate when I need and want flexibility in my schedule. If my daughter has an awards assembly Wednesday morning and a client project due Wednesday afternoon then my plan will include working an extra hour Tuesday evening to ensure my client’s project is done on schedule, and I can enjoy my daughter’s awards schedule without being concerned about missing a deadline or working hours.

A flexible schedule has given me a wonderful work/life balance, and I believe my Orgwide team would say it has also been very successful. However, this balance and success doesn’t come without identifying what needs to be done and creating a plan to accomplish it on time and on budget. 

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