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    I’m an executive at a stroller company and my husband is a stay-at-home dad. I stop working at 4:30 p.m. every day to be with family.

    Jordi Mora igual/ Getty Images

    Jeanelle Teves is a mom of two and an executive.She stops working at 4:30 each afternoon to spend time with her family.She says this time makes her more efficient and focused at work.

    This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Jeanelle Teves, a content creator and Bugaboo‘s chief commercial officer. It has been edited for length and clarity.

    When I’m at work, I’m 100% focused on my job. As the chief commercial officer for Bugaboo, a global stroller and baby equipment brand, that’s essential. But at 4:30 p.m. each day, I leave the office or sign off the computer to be home for dinner with my husband and my two children, who are 7 and 3.

    That’s my sacred time each day. From five until about 8 p.m. — when the kids go to bed — I’m basically unreachable so I can be fully present with my family. I eat dinner with the kids at 5:30, spend quality time with them, and tuck them into bed.

    Only then will I log back in to work if necessary, which usually happens a few times each week.

    I carve out uninterrupted time for my marriage too

    My husband is a stay-at-home dad. It’s very important that we have dedicated time to be together, both as a family and without the kids. My husband’s love language is quality time, so being home for dinner each night shows him that I’m prioritizing him and that I appreciate the work he’s doing.

    Of course, dinner with two kids isn’t exactly relaxing, so we also have a standing date night each week. I do everything in my power to keep that appointment, including saying no to professional events and work dinners. I’ll even travel home on a red-eye flight to be there if I can.

    Because I prioritize our family and couple time, my husband understands if I occasionally need to miss dinner because of work obligations. He knows those opportunities are really important to me, and he respects that.

    Flexibility starts with good communication

    Jeanelle Teves is the CCO of Bugaboo and has dinner with her kids every single night.

    Courtesy of Jeanelle Teves

    I’m an executive, so I have a lot of leeway in setting the tone for my team. I also work at a company that is 80% women, 60% of whom are moms. I worked my way up the corporate ladder in different settings, so I know that not everyone can say they’re leaving work for family time.

    Still, I believe everyone can have flexibility with communication and accountability. If you’re looking for more balance, I suggest having an open, honest conversation with your boss about expectations. A lot of the time, we pour our energy into projects or facets of our work that aren’t the most important.

    Instead of doing that, ask your manager which two to three deliverables are the most crucial. Target your energy toward those. Ask how your boss wants to be kept informed about these priorities. This way, you can work in a more efficient way to cover the most critical parts of your job and keep your boss happy.

    Propose solutions when conflict comes up

    Lots of professional parents have experienced the pull between work and family obligations. When that happens, try to propose a creative solution to your boss. Try saying, “I know [this task] is very important, so…” and then tell them exactly how you’ll keep up while maintaining your flexibility.

    For example, you could watch a meeting recording afterward or email your thoughts. As I tell my daughter, there’s always a solution — you just have to find it.

    Flexibility makes work more efficient, but employees need accountability too

    I’m at my best at work when I’m fulfilled in my home life. Most employees are most efficient when they’re prioritizing health and well-being, so it makes sense for employers to support that.

    Recently, I was hiring for a position on Bugaboo’s leadership team. I interviewed 10 candidates and asked each an open question: What are you looking for in a job? Each person said flexibility. It’s what the top talent in our generation is seeking, and offering it is essential in order to attract and retain skilled employees.

    On the other hand, employees need to be accountable for their work. If you’re working outside conventional hours, that’s OK, but you can’t forget that your organization is counting on you.

    I want to flip the narrative that anyone can do it all. Some weeks, I’m headfirst into work, preparing for a board meeting or a big presentation. On other weeks, like at the end of the school year, I’m prioritizing family and ducking out early to ride bikes in Central Park. Together, it makes for something like balance.

    Read the original article on Business Insider

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