Can you work too hard?

So my beautiful boy Arthur William was born just 19 days ago now.

I have said it before, but I will say it again labour (not you Jeremy Corbyn) is an incredible thing. The hard work, resilience and pain a mother goes through is unparalleled (apart from recruiting chefs).

I wrote an article pre-birth talking about presenteeism, and the battle to balance the special first moments with baby and the needs of a growing business.

These are my thoughts post birth:

I was once described as the Gary Neville of recruitment – not the most talented, but the hardest worker in the team (my teachers from school would baulk at that idea).

Over the past few weeks I have come to a startling realisation:

I am getting the balance wrong and becoming a borderline workaholic.

Like any form of addict, you ease your way in to it. I didn’t wake up and feel compelled to do 16-hour days. I built up slowly, coming in the office at 8am, then 7.45am, then 7am – then replying to e-mails when I woke up in the night, until I found I could literally not turn off.

Now as cute as the (contrived) photo attached to this article is, there is a tinge of sadness to it. That even though I have my first-born son on my chest sleeping, I still cannot switch off from work and find every available opportunity to work.

I realised I had to address it.

Firstly, having an extremely supportive partner who understands the need to provide, but also the need to care has really helped readdressed the balance between the two.

Secondly, having an honest and open conversation with my team and having the trust and confidence in them that I can delegate more and more tasks to them has been invaluable.

And finally, the realisation that the most important thing in life is family. Everything I (we) do is for them, so the least we can do is be present when they are young enough to not be embarrassed by my affection.

Will Grashoff

Managing Director

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