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Our Top 5 Tips to Balance Family and Working from Home

In our digital age it’s no surprise that more and more parents are opting to work from home. We’re seeking quality time with our children without sacrificing our careers – and working from home provides that possibility. But it’s not all smooth sailing. If you’re considering working from home, or already do, here are a few tips that might help keep the wheels turning.

Tip #1 Have a Schedule

Flying by the seat of your pants is not recommended if you want to get anything done. Step into that Bermuda Triangle of household chores and say goodbye to earning any money that day. Schedule your work time and your household time and stick with it.

Tip #2 Communicate

Be clear with your partner and extended family about what your work requires of you. Many people expect that when someone works from home they are always available for coffee, spontaneous drop ins, or errands. If you don’t communicate clearly that this is not the case, you’ll find your work time swallowed up by interruptions.

Tip #3 Book in Some Childcare

You might think that because you’re working from home you can work around your baby’s routine, but the truth is, babies are pretty unforgiving when it comes to work deadlines. I have spent many an afternoon with a baby perched on my knee trying to finish reports, emails and meetings. You can almost guarantee that the day you absolutely must finish a work task, your baby will decide to skip their nap that day. If you book in a baby sitter, occasional care or a full day at creche, you’ll actually be able to get your work done and deliver what you’ve committed to.

Tip #4 Make Fringe Time Work For You

Fringe time are the hours at the very beginning of the day or the very end of the day, where most people (including your baby) will be asleep. If you’re a lark (a morning person) get up at five and work through till seven. Or if you’re night owl work between 9.30 and 11.30. Both pockets of time will provide a quiet work time with no risk of interruptions.

Tip #5 Don’t Feel Guilty About Occasional Screen Time

There will be times when something crops up that demands immediate attention. This is the time to mobilise those screens; TV, DVD, iPad, whatever it takes. Indulge your kid in some screen time so you can knock over that task. If you save the screen time for moments like these there’s no need to worry that you’re over doing it.

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