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Creating the right balance

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Matthew Guthrie

Matthew Guthrie

Guernsey
Partner

To mark International Men's Day today, three of our people this week explain how they balance their work and personal lives and strive to be a positive role model for their children.

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19 November 2019

Managing Partner Matthew Guthrie gives his perspective on achieving the right balance through flexible working.

When asked to write this blog, I confess to not having previously heard of 'International Men's Day'. Thanks to Google, I now know that this year's theme is 'Making a difference for men and boys'. More specifically it's a day focused on encouraging men to teach the boys in their lives the values, characteristics and responsibilities of being a man and to lead by example by providing positive male role models.

Working smarter and flexibly

Having recently taken on the role of Office Managing Partner in Guernsey, the most frequent question I'm asked, by both colleagues and clients, is how I'm going to fit this into my day, while also running our international trust and private client team in Guernsey. Having ruled out human cloning, the answer is relatively simple – it's about working smarter and more flexibly. We're very fortunate to live at a time where advances in technology and connectivity enable us to work both remotely and flexibly. This means it's possible for me to be at home for my family at key points in the day.

For example, I usually drop my two boys, aged four and six, at school before going into work. I then typically leave the office around 6pm to make sure I'm home to spend an hour or so with them, before trying to coerce them into (and then out of!) the bath and into bed. When I'm busy, it's all too easy to think it would be better just to stay in the office and keep working and to see the family tomorrow.

However, you quickly come to realise that there will always be things which need to be done and that having the discipline to leave the office and to spend that crucial time with your family is really important. I freely admit that having put the boys to bed, I'll usually log back into my emails and catch-up with things, but it's great to be able to do that from the comfort of home, after spending quality time with my family, rather than needing to return to the office.

Empowerment is key

As employees and partners in a leading professional services firm, we will constantly be collaborating with high performing clients and their advisers and need to ensure that we deliver a service which delights them in the process.

But to be good role models for our children, it's imperative that we're empowered to prioritise our families as well as finding time for ourselves (be it going to the gym, seeing friends or relatives or pursuing our hobbies) when that matters most.