Working from home and juggling the priorities of a growing family can be a challenging task to master…
When I fell pregant with my second child, three months after the birth of my first, I realised pretty quickly that I would not be going back into my former position after my 12 months maternity leave. This created an opportunity where I was able to balance the needs of my family whilst exploring work at home options I could incorporate into my life.
Having an extensive recruiment and human resources background, along with a passion for writing, allowed me to pursue work as a professional resume and application writer. Having read, written and edited thousands of resumes throughout my career, it was an obvious path to follow.
Working from home is not as easy as some would think. There are many distractions that are not available in an office environment such as television, local shops, endless cups of tea as well as the lack of accountability to your ‘boss’. You have to make the committment to source new business and complete the work with a high level of integrity to ensure that your business continues to grow. By becoming your own boss and being accountable to your clients, your industry peers and your reputation, you take on a different attitude to the structure of your work.
Having a small family, who are demanding of your time and attention can be challenging to manage in the context of working from home. Having them in daycare for a couple of days a week can make a big difference to productivity, but there is still the requirement for structuring work during evenings, weekends and sleep times (if you are lucky enough to still have these). The key to this is discipline.
Discipline is required with your time, your clients and your families expectations.
- Be disciplined with yourself during wiorking hours. To be productive you must dedicate the time you have to producing work not going out for coffee catch ups and shopping trips. By having a disciplined and professional attitude to your time keeping, you will reap the benefits through increased production and therefore increased financial gain.
- Be disciplined with your clients. Yes, clients are important but there is no point in promising the earth if you can’t deliver. If you have agreed a deadline or a timeframe you must honour this but also be realistic with them if they are asking to bring forward the deadline or set an unrealistic timeframe in the first place.
- Be disciplined with your families expectations. You have made the decision to work from home and accommodate your family, but this can mean a compromise on ‘family time’. If you have scheduled to complete 3 hours work on a Saturday morning for example, or communicate with a client over the phone one evening, then these committments must be honoured and respected by your family. Having an upfront conversation and setting out expectations at the start of your work from home career can make a big difference down the track.
It is possible to achieve a good balance when working from home including activities for the children, meeting clients expectations and also managing household tasks but it requires a disciplined focus and excellent planning! Time management and organisation are key to doign this successfully; some weeks will work better than others but if you can master these then you are on your way to success!
Published in: Home Business