Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sleep deprived and desperate

I’m at the end of a long day that has involved me setting myself a one day goal of writing 10 blog posts (I usually write one a week). This is post 9 of 10. Fittingly after such a prolifery of verbage I am, as just illustrated, making up words and lacking a little inspiration.

So I posted on my facebook page – asking for suggestions / thoughts / random words.

My favourite response was this one:

“Should we be scared that parents with no sleep operate machinery, drive cars and raise children...”

I guess I found it appealing due to it’s comical nature, and the fact that I have a newborn and a toddler on the go at the moment – who at times, like to tag team their wake ups.

We have four parents on our team at Elephant Property with 5 kids 5 or under – and despite the fact that we offer a flexible work week / working hours - many of us, at different times operate the “machinery” of our business severely sleep deprived.

Are we at our best when sleep deprived? Probably not. Does our work suffer due to this? At times, I’m sure it has. But probably not more than the 20 something who’s had a big night on the town the night before or the passionate hobbyist who’s been pursuing an out of work passion until 3am.

In short, we all have days where we’re not at 100%. But, there are certain advantages to having parents (well rested or not) on your team.

If they have kids who are toddlers or older – they practice negotiation on a daily basis.

If they have multiple kids, or have ever tried to complete even the simplest of tasks with one demanding child, they know how to split their attention when it’s required.

If they’ve raised well-behaved children, they’ve had first hand practice at providing discipline and coaching – ideal qualities in a manager.

In short, I think the benefits outweigh the negatives.

BUT – I believe, if you want to have parents, especially those with young children working in your company, flexibility is the best gift you can give them. And I had no idea of this before having my first child, so sincere apologies to the parents who worked with me before then (I just didn’t get it!)

By Anonymous with 1 comment


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