The Practitioner: Don’t phone home

IN NUMEROUS BLOGS over the past couple of years I have covered the issue of work/life balance, and judging how much time to be available to clients without being at their beck and call.

In all my years of being a trusted adviser to clients I’ve prided myself on being available 24/7, so much so that you may remember the story from nine years ago when I received an ‘urgent’ client call while my wife was just about to give birth to our first child.

I’ve now reached the conclusion that I need to be able to switch off completely from work while at home, and have decided to purchase a second mobile phone for personal use only. The plan being that, on returning home, I will turn off my existing mobile phone and use my new one for pleasure, giving the number to friends and family only.

I’ve not actually yet purchased this new phone, I’ve been undecided about the type of phone to buy, in truth though deep down I’m undecided about whether I really want to do it or not. Will I be compromising my client relationships by not being available as much as I am now?

I can safely say that for 95% of the clients they won’t notice the difference. I suppose the answer is to let them know in advance that the work phone gets switched off at 6pm, and the only contact would be via emails – and even that won’t be a guaranteed way of getting hold of me until the next day.

One thing that recent events have taught me however, is that the work/life balance is so important. Clients will just have to adapt to the change. I could even turn it into a positive and tell them they need to change their own work/life balance and stop contacting me after hours.

The last thing I want is another phone call from a client while my wife is in labour. No sorry, the last thing I need is my wife to be in labour again!

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from within their own practice – having left a regional firm in the heart of England

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