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How is it That Some People Adapt to the City Life and the Long Hours of Commuting While Others Get so Upset?

Sep 10, 2008
Presumably it must be the way that these individuals frame it in their own minds. It is a few years since I regularly commuted and at the time I adapted to this reasonably well. I always used the time effectively either having work to read or occasionally falling asleep and most of the time any insignificant delays were hardly noticed.

I still remember people getting extremely upset and irritated when the train arrived 5 minutes late and as this was a regular occurrence at that time, why had those individuals not allowed more time or reprogrammed their minds rather than let it bother them so much?

Why is it that some people who work in the City also spend their leisure time there while others rush to get home and out of the City.

Why do some people put in exceptional hours at work as well? I did and as a manager I expected others to do likewise. It was part of our culture to work hard and play hard but at the same time there was no leeway for going to family events. How can that be right?

Employees are working exceptional hours yet when something special at home occurs 9 times out of 10 that would be missed too! With technology, planning and hopefully more understanding bosses, this should be a thing of the past. Depending on what your job is, so much extra can be achieved on odd days at home using broadband, particularly on more complicated work when you need to be able to concentrate.

So what is to stop people planning in one day a week or one day a month to achieve even more for the company and possibly a little relief or variety for the member of staff?

Most good employees drive themselves to achieve in such circumstances and become even more productive because of the trust given to them by their employers.

I have 2 older children who I gave substantial time to until they were 7 and 10. Now I have two younger children and again I am able to give them meaningful time. I have organised my life so that I am no longer living away during the week working.

So does that mean I have got it right? Naturally we need to earn sufficient for our families to enjoy life but earnings need to be balanced with our overall enjoyment.

How many of us wake up to the fact that we missed our kids growing up or missed out on enjoying leisure time with friends and family in the pursuit of a career!

There are many options we can explore in our present jobs. Have you considered these? More companies are realizing that if they harness the needs and wants of their staff to develop their work goals as well doing what they think is right at home, they can expect to gain commitment and dedication to work at more productive levels. This is not rocket science as the happier we are the more we enjoy our work and the more successful we are too. It can be a very much win/win situation for both employer and employee.

Perhaps you have tried and failed to reach a compromise with your employer but have you considered all of the options? At this stage it can be an ideal opportunity to bounce your thoughts and ideas off somebody else who is not involved. Too many people just stay where they are unhappy and too many people react too quickly and go where the grass is brown instead of green!

Likewise if you are considering such a change you need to consider what you really want, rather than just bouncing off into something else that is similar or perhaps just fits your comfort zone.

Ask yourself.....

_ What are the parts of your existing work / life balance that you really enjoy?

_ Looking ahead to the next 10/20 years what would you really like to do?

_ Have you the skills to do what you want in the future or do you need to learn new skills?

_ To get where you want to go, do you need to have a phased approach or are you just going to go for it?

You may be one of those people who love the challenge of City life and can adapt your feelings to cope happily with the commuting and long hours, and that must make you feel great.

Last week I travelled into London in the rush hour with my wife and after walking down the hill in the pouring rain, watching out for those paving slabs that move, queuing for the doors of the train to open and scrabbling into the carriage before anybody else whether they be male or female, and then sitting in the steaming carriage for 50 minutes. I do not need or want to do that anymore, whilst my wife has this fantastic opportunity in the City a new challenge using all of her skills in a place where she has not worked regularly before which is obviously exciting for her. She will however be working one day a week from home, which works in her particular job.

Where do you stand and what would you like to change?
About the Author
Neil Williams is a mentor and business coach who runs NVW Solutions
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