Is time the ultimate luxury? 

We have all the time in the world…. sang Louis Armstrong for the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. But do we really? We only have 24 hours in a day. Even when money is no object, time is elusive. You cannot buy an extra hour or day. Is time truly the ultimate luxury?

The more you work, the more money you earn. In return you can buy more of whatever it is you want – whether that is property, cars, jewellery or expensive clothes. However, you cannot buy more time. Time is truly the only limited resource we have. This is why time management has become so important in our modern society. We chase after time, following the clock like slaves, and rush around juggling work and family life. ” I don’t have the time, I’m too busy” is a phrase we all hear frequently.

We recently spoke to the owner of a nursery school in a well-to-do area in central London who said she had witnessed a big change in parenting style since she started 20 years ago. Back then, wealthy parents hired nannies to do all the nursery and school runs. The nannies would look after the children outside of nursery hours while both parents were busy working long hours in the City. However, in the past 5 years she noticed the new generation of young parents choose to do the nursery and school runs themselves, and they also take more time off work to spend time with their children. She said even fathers proudly claim that they work flexible hours and don’t need to be in the office until 10am. Essentially, wealthy parents who can easily afford help, choose to spend more time with their children. As one mother said, what is the point of working all those evenings to be able to afford a holiday home, only to realise you never have the time to enjoy it?

Having more time to spend with family and friends, or do something for yourself – is truly the ultimate luxury. Just having a few extra hours every week to do something else than work would be wonderful, right? Which is why flexible working is becoming the new buzzword in the workplace. Flexible working will not give you more hours in the day, but it can make your working life more efficient – which in turn gives you more time to do the things you want to do in life. The average Londoner commutes an hour to get to work. If you worked from home one day a week, that would free up two hours! Two, glorious hours that you could spend on yourself or with your family. No wonder flexible working is the future …