5 Tips to Combine Working From Home with Family Life
Working from home with a family around presents a whole set of interesting & often complex challenges. Keeping your family happy whilst being successfull professionally requires a specific and well considered approach. We've collected 5 tips to help you on this journey.
1. Have detailed Planning & Routines
You might be tempted to just 'wing it' and see how you go. However, after a couple of days you'll soon realise that upfront planning and structured routines might be the only way to make this work. Grab a spreadsheet, map out your and your family's upcoming weeks and plan in who will take care of what when. Include your private as well as professional activities to detect double bookings early and align with your partner on how to solve them.
Equally set up day routines and assign daily tasks to create structure, transparency and manage expectations for each family member.
2. Set up Dedicated work & play spaces
As mentioned in our '5 tips to maintain work/life balance' post, it is crucial to make sure you have a designated work place, free from family distractions & noise. This to allow your mind to disconnect from family life during your professional hours and get the most out of your work. Don't forget to set up that workspace in the most efficient, clean & productive way so you're all set for a productive day when you enter. For tips on how to achieve this, read our 'declutter & optimise' blog post!
3. Manage expectations & create boundaries at work
Make sure your professional peers understand & respect your working arrangements. If you work specific hours or specific days, communicate those clearly and firmly to avoid encroachment on your family time outside of these hours/days. Many work environments respect and even encourage assertiveness, as long as it is done politely and clearly.
If you work standard hours & days, consult & align with your partner on whether this is optimal.
4. Communicate smart and efficiently
You and your partner need to be a solid, well organised team. To achieve this, communication is key. Communicate changes to your schedule as soon as they come up. Use modern technologies to keep your agendas synced and save time, frustration & effort. Communicate to the point, be transparent & candid where needed.
5. Take care of yourself, mentally & physically
Family life can be exhausting and requires a healthy mind & body. Couple of important tips:
- Eat healthily. Time is often sparse and there is a misconception that healthy food requires a lot of preparation time. This doesn't need to be the case. Many healthy meals or snacks are quick, easy and even cost effective, especially when preparing larger quantities at once to store in the freezer.
- Physical activity is a perfect way to clear your mind, keep your body in shape and re-energise yourself to take on the next challenges. On top of that, you'll mentally feel better after physical activity thanks to the released endorphins.
- Schedule in 'me time'. Align with your partner when to take over for a while so you can recharge your batteries doing your favourite activities.