Flexible working isn’t a luxury, it’s essential for creative types

I always felt really annoyed by the 9-5, never quite understanding why any employer would need me to work at such an ungodly hour in the morning. This was pre-having a child. Now, 9am is basically lunchtime but the sentiment remains. I’m not a morning person.


Currently, I manage the communications for a brand that believes in flexible working. For someone who gets their best ideas post-10pm a lot of the time, this is a godsend. Even now, I’m writing this blog at midnight, when the creative side of my brain is engaged and everyone around me is asleep. There’s a quietness to be found in working at night, not just literally, but mentally too. It seems as though ideas flow freer when they’re not fighting their way through the hecticness of the day.


Since early 2018, I’ve been incredibly lucky to find myself in a role that allows for such flexible working, and it’s wonderful to hear of more and more companies employing this type of work. Flexibility is the reason I chose to freelance in 2015, and that, combined with some new ambitions, is the reason I’m returning to it too.


I specialise in communications and content strategy for start-ups and brands that need a refresh in their digital output. Whether it’s dazzling web copy for the perfect UX journey, influencer marketing or social strategy, there’s always an element of my work that suits a brand’s needs. But why am I leaving a role that already provides that flexibility I crave?


As anyone with kids will tell you, it’s all about them. And while I love my current role and how it fits into my life, I know my skills can take my own business further, and when my daughter is older and asks what I do, I want to tell her I’m my own boss; I work for myself and set my own rules, targets and achievements, all because it’s what I love doing.


As part of my freelance relaunch, I’ve decided to commit a % of every commission to earth-protecting charities. I’m raising the next generation to believe women can be strong entrepreneurs, but I want to put just as much emphasis on taking care of the world they’ll inherit too. After all, I’ve heard the sunrise is a beautiful thing…


How does it work, I hear you ask? Here’s what a typical day looks like for me:


09.30

Back from the nursery run. Did I have breakfast already? Can’t remember, better have some Weetabix just to be sure.


10.00

Admin, emails, Skype calls, website tweaking. Everything I consider ‘office type work’ I will do before lunch, to suit how my brain works best.


13.00 

Lunch, followed by at least one cup of tea. I’ll step into the garden, finish my tea on the grass if it’s not wet, and take a few minutes to appreciate being able to work from home and get some fresh air. If I’m feeling wild I’ll pop to the shops for a swiss roll.


14.00 

I’ll do most of my branding work in the afternoon. It’s just the right mix of creative and administrative for this time of day. I’ll schedule social content, research analytics and make content plans for the following weeks before chucking a load of washing in.


16.00

Nursery run, followed by a few hours of playtime with my daughter, somehow fitting in a somewhat nutritious dinner (for her), thoughts of pizza (for me), bath and reading some books.


19.00 Pick up where I left off before the nursery run, make sure the day's social posts are ready and finish off any tasks that are specific to today.


21.00

Eat, clean, chill. Gilmore Girls, or some YouTube vlogs.


22.00

Sudden idea for some creative writing. I’ll spend anything from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours putting some words down, either for work or for a personal project. Then it’s a bit of reading to switch off and looking forward to more swiss roll


BED TIME!

I’ll make a mental note to eat some fruit.

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©2019 by Ella St Communications