Managing your work-life balance – a new solution

It took a wake-up call to realise I had to manage my work-life balance better. What will it take you?

Working full time is something most of us have to do, just to keep the bills paid. We work to live. From my experience there is only so long we can all do this before it takes its toll on our wellbeing and relationships with those around us.

In my twenties and thirties I travelled round the world marketing luxury fashion. To my friends it looked as if I had the perfect job. But inside, I felt the turmoil of constant guilt about not being present. I never had enough time for my family, friends, or hobbies. When I was off, the jet-lag was overwhelming. My work-life balance was all work, no time with the people who meant most to me.

Finally, some 24 years ago, things changed. I received a long-distance phone call from my childminder asking what she should do, because my daughter had called her Mummy. Needless to say I wanted to scream, tell her I’m her Mummy not her. I remember that call as if it was yesterday, I was in a fabulous hotel, about to have lunch in an award-winning New York restaurant, with some of fashion’s key influencers. It meant nothing. Something inside me changed. The glamour of the fashion and celebrity endorsements were worthless if my little girl thought someone else was her parent.

Within a few months, I actioned a plan that allowed me to re-establish my boundaries, and my children and husband welcomed me back. I found the best people to support me, much as you would when running a business. I felt like I was regaining control of my work-life balance, and tipping it in the right direction.

I applied the business strategies I used at work to manage my life and have my career. A lot of unexpected bumps in the road came along, the loss of my parents, ongoing cancer, redundancies in the business I ran. I had my fair share of challenges, but with the support I had worked hard to put in place, I gained the gift of time. I had put in place valued employees to help weather the unexpected. I never took another call like that again and my children knew I was Mum, even if I still had to travel a bit.

Having experienced this has enabled me to relate to those that want a career and a family but just get caught up in the juggling of it all. It doesn’t have to be like that if you work out what areas of your life that you can afford to delegate to others. The thing that makes the difference is great staff to help give you back time. These people are known as Lifestyle Managers and they are fast becoming the secret weapon for many around the world. The good news is that we know some seriously good ones.

Our health, wellbeing and loved ones are the most valuable assets we have, yet we rarely plan how best to manage spending time on them. We know we should alter our work-life balance, but most of us simply don’t spend time working out how to do it. Often I speak with families who struggle because they have had a succession of household staff come through their lives or are thinking about employing a nanny or a PA for the first time but are terrified at the prospect of letting people into their home/office. Our understanding of employment, and of the fears of clients means we always check our candidates and get NDA’s in place as part of our processes.

Setting goals to improve your work-life balance

At 14fiftyseven, one of our key strengths, based on our past experiences, is setting goals with our clients. What is it you really need to enhance your work-life balance? We can help you make a plan over a simple phone call.

For example, one of our goals is staff retention. So, when issues arise, as they inevitably do, we help our clients navigate round them. We action performance reviews, we listen but most importantly, together we find solutions. We’re a service – there to help, when needed.

Don’t wait for that phone call that stops you in your tracks, as with me. Plan for it, strategise, put solutions in place. All the experts tell us time is our most precious commodity – it is, and hiring support in your home and office helps you to better define yours. I know this to be true as I have the privilege of working with our clients to redefine their time commitments and improve that work-life balance. Once that precious time is gone, it’s gone.

Call me on 0208 616 1457 if you would like to learn more about our exceptional candidates, who don’t just do that one job, they seamlessly fit round what you need and bring a diverse set of skills to free you up to do what you do best, be it as a parent, a CEO, or nurture a fledgling startup. We don’t mind what your story is. In fact, the more diverse the requirements, the greater job satisfaction.

Susie Osborough, Director


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#14fiftyseven – because we’ve been there.

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