I just read an article online (link below) that told me because I’m a Millennial, I don’t have kids and I haven’t ‘worked for it’, I don’t deserve to have flexible working hours. I do realise that as someone who is self-employed, my situation is a little different than an employee. But I still have obligations to my clients and students, I can’t skive off work willy-nilly or not hit milestones etc.
The article spoke about Millenials as lazy and undeserving, that we take advantage of flexible working arrangements and ruin it for everyone else. This is a total overgeneralisation. A fallacy. I really hate getting lumped into a generational category like this. We’re individuals and can’t all be given the same attributes just because we were born in certain years. You can’t judge my behaviour, you’ve never met me!
It also said that only mums with children warrant flexible hours. Ah, no. My choice to not have children (ever or yet – I don’t know!) doesn’t mean I don’t have valid activities to do outside of work. I have pets, a partner, family, and friends to look after, see, entertain and love. And I have myself to look after. Why are those things not as important?
Another point the article brought up was that as a young person in the workforce I needed the experience of being in the office to learn from others. Apparently, I haven’t yet earned my stripes to work alone. I’m calling bullshit. I’ve spent time in an office (years in fact), and yes I learnt lots, but did I have to spend a whole decade there until I hit 30 to make the author happy? Happy I’ve done my time?
One last thing the article mentioned was that working in an office was better for productivity. I think this depends entirely on the type of work you do. For me I need quiet time to get writing projects done, a busy and noisy office isn’t very conducive to that. And then other times I need to brainstorm, be social, chat at the water cooler etc. So I choose to have the best of both worlds. I work at home, in shared spaces, at the library, outside at the park and in yoga studios.
I’d rate myself as a pretty productive and efficient worker who gets shit done – despite the article’s author telling me I’m lazy because I don’t work 8-5.
There is so much more I’d like to delve into here on what productivity even means and why we put it on a pedestal, but I might leave that topic for another day!
If you’re interested, this is the original article I’m talking about. And I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments below!