Working from home may seem like a dream come true for a parent. You get the comfort of home without the hassle of the daily commute. But now comes the hard part: striking a balance between home life and work. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Daisy Wademan Dowling explains how to work from home when you have kids.
Winning at Home Work
Before you even start working from home, you need to be able to frame it to your superiors as a positive experience for the company as a whole. Talk about the benefits of extra work time since you won’t have to commute or how staying in your current area will maybe allow you to reach a different market more efficiently. And once you start working from home, make sure to highlight the benefits to your boss to show how this small investment has worked not only to your benefit, but to the benefit of the company.
One of the more difficult aspects of working from home is adapting your home into a work environment. This all starts with creating a steady routine and sticking to it. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean that it’s now sweatpants every day; have some professional clothes to wear and limit your breaks to keep you in the right mindset. Set up an area of your home to serve as a background when taking video calls so you can still look like a pro, even though shifting the camera angle might find someone’s hockey gear lying around. And speaking of cameras, make sure the technology you use is of at least comparable quality to what is being used at work. Take a technology audit and see if the business can help you upgrade.
Being at home has a lot of benefits, but one downside is building up relationships with colleagues is harder to do when you’re not in the office every day. Take some time out of your day to call a coworker and ask how their day was or send off a quick message to see how things are going. And if you can help it, try to show up physically at the office once in a while for notable events.
But ultimately, Dowling says that you need to effectively explain to your kids what’s going on:
Children naturally have difficulty understanding the world of work — what it consists of, what it requires, and what it means. But even very small children can hear that “Mommy works hard all week at the office because I like it, and because it lets me earn money to take care of our family. On Fridays, I still work, but from home so that I can take you to school and we can do fun things together.” In doing so, you transmit the values of hard work and responsibility — while showing your commitment and love.
You can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2017/09/how-to-work-from-home-when-you-have-kids