How to Balance Family and a Home Office
One of the hardest things about working from home is getting work done when your family is nearby. So how do you handle this? The balance between work and a home office is delicate, but you can achieve it in several ways.
Create Ground Rules
If you want to work from home, then there will need to be some ground rules for your family. One of these should be when and why they are allowed to interrupt you. This isn’t just for kids because partners can love to interrupt just as much as little ones do! For example, you should have blocks of time that no interruptions are allowed unless they are a life-threatening emergency. If you have young kids, hiring a nanny for at least part of the day can help out.
Organize Your Space
When you have a large family and a home office, likely, the space you work in regularly will also be space used for another purpose. Regardless, it would help if you kept this area clean to be productive at work. Your home office might also be your guest room or maybe even your kitchen. Although this isn’t advised, as long as you have a separate desk where you work that you can keep clean, this will help you to be productive even in a shared space.
Don’t Let Work Impede on Family Time
In an office setting, it is easy to say that you will put in just one more hour at work before you head home and leave the office behind for the weekend. But when your home is your office, it can be tempting to answer emails at the dinner table. This is a bad habit and a poor example of a healthy work and personal life balance for your children. Even though your office is your home, you need to have a distinct separation between when you are working and when you are spending time with family. It can help if you get a separate phone line for work so that you aren’t tempted to work every time you look at your cell phone.
Balancing a home office with family life is no easy task, especially if your family is home. As long as you create ground rules, keep your space organized, and don’t let work interfere with family time, you’ll find that maintaining the balance isn’t so hard after all.
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