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Today’s task is about flexibility. Ideally, when, where, and how would you like to work in the future?

Consider four areas: your workplace, your flexibility in terms of time and space, your working hours, and your willingness to travel.

Here is your task:

Read the explanations for all four areas and fill in the tables provided for you.

1. Work location and spatial flexibility

A decisive factor for your business idea is where you want to work. If, for example, you need to work where you live, you’ll be more restricted than if you’re willing to commute or even move.

Think carefully about what’s important to you at your place of work. Are you prepared to commute? Is it important for you to meet other people at work or is the home office more attractive to you? Would you like to work in an office or preferably outside? Would you like to be in one place all the time or do you prefer to be able to travel for your job? Should this be within your country of residence, or do you prefer to travel abroad?

Use the table below to discover the degree of spatial flexibility you’d like for yourself:

Spatial flexibility when working
none bound to one place, no possibility for travel
low tied to one place, with the potential for travel
medium bound to a region and conditionally willing to travel
high bound to a region and very willing to travel
very high not regionally bound


2. Working hours and time flexibility

What are your firm commitments? As a single person, you have more freedom than if you’re supporting a family with several children. You may also be tied down because you have family to care for or other obligations you don’t want to give up. These obligations place demands on your time flexibility (e.g., to be there at short notice for a sick child) or the possibility of working from home (e.g., to care for a parent).

Use the following table to estimate your time flexibility needs. Keep in mind that working hours are at stake if you have already quit your old job, i.e., you are only working independently!

Time flexibility for working
none < 15 hours and fixed working hours
low < 15 hours but flexible working hours
medium 15-30 hours and fixed working hours
high 15-30 hours and flexible working hours
very high > 30 hours

When would be a good time for you to work, and how many hours would you like to devote to work? If you want to look after your children after returning from daycare or school, your potential working hours are probably limited to four to five hours in the morning and sometime in the evening. Think about how many hours you’d like to work per day or week, minimum, and maximum. Use the following table, which you can also find at

Example of a weekly working time budget (download as Excel file here):

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Weekend
In the morning 3 4 3 4 3
Afternoon 2 2
Total 5 4 5 4 3
Working week: 21 hours


3. Travel

Many people want to escape their jobs to have time for long journeys. They dream of living in a completely different part of the world for half a year or a whole year and getting to know the country and its people. There are business ideas for self-employed people for this as well. So, if you want to be one of the globetrotters who lead a relaxed life in Asia, South America, or anywhere else in the world, this is one of the major constraints for your business idea.

Travel needs Meaning
no professional travel none
occasional business trips medium
work independent of location high

Today’s task has provided more clarity about the conditional framework of your independence. Your next task will take a deep dive into details about how you want to work in the future.