Having a home office can be a bit of a trial when you have a family. Learning to balance work and home life when both are contained within the home becomes a dance that everyone in your family must learn to ensure a collaborative coexistence.
I remember listening to an audio CD from Success Magazine where they cover this issue, and discuss the best way for a family to work together. The key is to create an environment of connectedness AND separateness. Connect and Separate. How do you do this?
The first step: condense your work life.
Make a list and do things for your business that require 100% concentration while your children are either in school or out of the house. As I’m sure you are well aware, children have an uncanny knack for disturbing work during the most inconvenient moments. You can be proactive, setting appointments and doing important work during the daytime, in order to avoid any conflict that may arise due to unwelcomed disturbances. If work still carries over into the evening, make sure you plan your day correctly so that it’s the type of work that can handle interruptions since everyone will be home.
Making your work schedule accommodate your home life will help you accomplish two things:
- Your child will know he is more important than your work
- Because your child is less “plan-able”, you will seamlessly fit the two together
It requires a great amount of self-discipline – you must structure time and block it off. A home office comes with a slew of distractions that you wouldn’t have with a cubicle job.
Another good way to make both options work is using a shared office space. This will allow you to keep your home office and maintain your presence there, but also gives you the added bonus of a separate office space at your disposal when you really need to an environment conducive to privacy and concentration.