National Go Home on Time Day

It’s National Go Home on Time Day, a Working Families campaign to highlight the need for greater work life balance.

Woman relaxing on the sofa with a cup of tea


It’s National Go Home on Time Day today and, although I work mainly from home so I’m always more or less going home on time, I’m planning to clock off before before 6pm for once.

Intentions are not the same as actions, though, and there are usually a stream of emails that come in around 5.28pm on a Friday that require urgent responses. Perhaps it’s my fault for checking them and perhaps they aren’t as urgent as I think. The thing is I do like an inbox with no unanswered emails sitting in there, festering. I like to work my way into Mondays rather than start Mondays with a glut of demands. This means, of course, that I end up checking emails at the weekend.

It’s one of those swings and roundabout situations and I think I prefer it that way, but as I get older I think I’d just like less work all round…or more holidays. But while one section of the household – the GCSE section – is already on summer holiday hours, the rest of us have some way to go.

The GCSE section has joined forces with daughter one who is on odd shifts at work and the two spend half the night binge watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

There are multiple timetables at work in our house which makes the concept of National Go Home on Time Day a bit slippery. As daughter one would say, what is time?

She certainly has a slightly erratic schedule these days. She gets up around 5.30am on the days she works in order to make commuters their morning coffee. That means one of her parents has to be up too since it’s difficult to get to the train otherwise. She has odd days off in the week when she sleeps.

Daughter two is still celebrating the end of the GCSEs so rarely sees morning. Daughter three has to get up for school, but had an inset day this week. Only son is very annoyed that he has to go to school at all and that he does not have the most inset days because he thinks daughter three needs more education than him. He and daughter three are going through a sticky period. He told her the other day that if she didn’t stop watching BTS videos he would convert to ‘meninism’,.I had a long talk about the impact of meninism in the workplace…

This multi-layered approach to timetabling means, basically, that the kitchen is open all hours and every time you go to the sink it is full of dishes. It’s like some sort of perverse magic trick. The sink is emptied; you turn your head and, bingo, the sink is full again. Clearly, those people who filled it up should clean it, but actually getting them to do stuff requires more energy than just doing it yourself. The good news is that all the children are great cooks; the bad news is that they use every possible utensil in the process. I blame Rick Stein.

My working hours, therefore, are variable. Sometimes I start work at 6am if I’m dropping daughter one. Sometimes I shut down at 1am if I’m on Ru Paul duty.

So Go Home on Time Day is a kind of abstract concept in our house. However, I heartily support the sentiments behind it. It’s important to rest, but maybe not quite as much as a teenager.

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