Working From Home With Young Children
Posted Jun 13, 2006.
When our children are young, working from our home can allow us to be with them during the day and meet family needs as they arise. But sometimes work and home are so blended that neither get what they deserve. Author Maggie Jackson in her book What’s Happening to Home? argues that “…a place for home must be consciously set aside.”
Benefits Of Working At Home
- You can set your own schedule.
- You can see family members more and be more involved in their daily life than if you worked outside the home.
- You can control your own direction.
- Work that you choose for yourself may be more meaningful.
- There are no workplace politics.
Drawbacks To Working From Your Home
- Work can overpower home. It is easy to find yourself working more hours than if you were in a regular out-of-home job.
- Home can overpower work. You can become distracted by the constant needs of running a home, trying to keep up with a full-time job as well as be the housekeeper, cook, and family chauffer.
- No co-worker support. It is easy to feel isolated.
Keep Work From Overpowering Home
- Set specific times for work as much as possible. Keep some scheduled “sacred non-work time” that you will not work.
- Create transition rituals to define “work time” and “home time.”
- Be as organized as possible. Make the most of your work time so that you are not forced to use non-work time to get things done.
Keep Home From Overpowering Work
- Create a defined work place, separate from your living space.
- Share household tasks with family members, especially a partner.
- Limit interruptions. Have some “sacred work time” when you do not allow any interruptions except true emergencies.
Create And Make The Most Of Social Support
- Email, on-line chats and news groups can help you feel connected with others.
- It can be energizing to get together with others who do the same thing you do.
If you value the many benefits of working from home, you can find ways to build boundaries and rules you will need to be successful in both realms.