Your career and your family are likely to be the two most important things in your life, and each will vie with the other to be the most important, putting pressure on you from both sides.
We tend to spend our daytime working, and the mornings or evenings around this, looking after and catering to the wants and needs of our little ones. This is all greatly rewarding. But if one of these areas is out of balance, it can greatly impact the other. All too many people find that their work can impede on their time with their family, can impact their family’s quality of life, and can have knock-on effects on the lifestyles of everyone involved. So, it’s not surprising that many people are searching for ways to make their work life fit in better with their family life. Here are some areas of focus that can help you to achieve this.
One option that many people with children are finding a massively positive change to their lives is working from home. Since the spread of Covid-19 around the world, many people have tried remote working for the first time in their lives and found that it really is a more suitable option for them.
While there are perks to working in an office, such as face-to-face contact with others, there are also so many benefits that working from home offers, that can help to improve your work-life balance.
Sure, not everyone will have this option available to them, as their role may be based on in-person contact (for example, working in a restaurant or a shop). However, for those who can work from home, the option should be considered. Firstly, when you decide to work from home, you gain a lot of time, as you cut out the morning and evening commute. Instead of spending time on public transport, or in your car in rush hour traffic, you are already at your place of work when you get up in the morning and when you close your laptop at the end of your shift.
Secondly, you can save a lot of money by cutting commuting out, which can be better spent on your family and used as extra disposable income. Remote work also generally works better around family commitments. You can fit your work around the school run and other routine tasks.
There are downsides to remote working, such as being unable to switch off fully at the end of the day, but there are tricks you can use to make that easier.
Flexible Working Hours
If you do work in an office or similar, or simply like working with others, you may not want to work from home. But this doesn’t mean that your family life has to suffer either. Instead, you could negotiate with your workplace or find a new role that allows more flexible working hours. Those with children tend to find that they need more flexible working hours to be able to complete tasks like dropping them at school, looking after them if they are off school sick, or getting them to appointments, such as routine dental checkups, vaccinations or eye tests. Try to negotiate flexible working with your employer – many will be absolutely fine with this.
Starting Your Own Business
If you’re looking for even more control over your work-life balance, you may want to consider running your own business. You can choose what hours you work, where you work from, what area you operate in, and what you sell (meaning you can generally be happier, which is better for family life in general). You don’t have to answer to anybody else and can always do what’s best for you and your family.
Of course, there’s likely to be more work involved in all of this, which will mean more demand and work hours to begin with, not to mention the additional setup costs and the risks that come with variable income. You’ll need to come up with a product or service to sell. You’ll need to find web designers, product photographers, copywriters and other freelancers to help with creating a website. You’ll need to look into marketing and learn a host of new skills. The list goes on. Only you can know if you have the capacity for these tasks to benefit from being your own boss or not.
Did the pandemic give you an insight into a new way of working? Have you decided to make a change? I’d love to hear your comments as to how you plan to improve your work-life balance this year.
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