Friday, March 9, 2012

Balancing Work and Life from the Home Office

When I was researching this concept two years ago, I found it began in other countries and very common. The U.S. just started entertaining this concept for real. And, there are many reasons, but I am going to shoot for the reason being we are a very structured country. OK, just guessing…

But onto the subject at hand, can life be more balanced by working from the home? And how does that work?

A recent conversation with a married 30-ish career woman, wife and mother of a three-year-old, revealed it was a great idea. Before, she spent so much time preparing for the day, arranging schedules, finding a back-up sitter when the little guy was sick, etc., that her productivity at work was lacking. However, the simple routine now goes like this: 

  1. Get the three-year-old ready for preschool, prep breakfast and out the door with Dad.  He drops him off on the way to work.
  2. She goes into her office, works until noon, takes a walk/lunch break, returns to working at her computer and on the phone until husband and child return home. She also has time now in the afternoon break to prepare a bit of supper for the evening. 
  3. By working from home, she is more productive at work and less stressed at home. It’s a good balance for her – and her family.
It does seem like a good plan. My only caution: carve out face time with clients or bosses as we would not want the slogan “out of sight, out of mind” to create an invisible employee.

Working from home can be a success but only with that one reoccurring word: discipline. Be sure to weigh the potential benefits and challenges if you’re contemplating the switch.