How To Navigate the Shift To Work-From-Home As A Family

The world of remote work has sent companies scrambling for new ways to work; it’s also upended the at-home world of many families – some for the better, some for the stressful.

Yes, the boundaries between professional and personal spheres have blurred as the home becomes the workplace.

Yes, there are numerous benefits both personally and professionally to working from home.

But no, this is not stress free. There are challenges, especially in the realm of family adjustment and work and life being swirled all together.

For many of our Dads, the hybrid or remote life presents very real obstacles. So how are they faring? We asked for tips.

Designate a Workspace: This is the #1 rule from our community. Establish a dedicated area solely for work. Whether it’s a separate room, a corner of a room, or a specific desk, having a designated workspace helps signal to you and your family that when you’re in that space, you’re working. When you step away from it, the work mode can be turned off and enhance the division between work and personal life. Some prefer to use the door signal (open = come on in; closed = do not disturb) as an additional way to draw a line between work and everything else.

Establish Clear Working Hours: This is crucial for every work-from-home job, but is especially crucial for freelancers or independent contractors. Communicate your work schedule to your family. Define specific working hours and stick to them as much as possible. This clarity helps in setting expectations for when you’re available for family interactions and when you need uninterrupted focus for work. Set the same boundary for your job as well. Just because your home is your office doesn’t mean you’re available 24/7. Set notification hours and DND on your devices, and commit to family time at the end of the work day.

Communicate Boundaries: Communication is key and crucial from the moment you start working from home. Openly discuss boundaries with your family. Let them know you can’t be disturbed during work hours unless it’s an emergency. Similarly, communicate when you’ll be available to spend time together. This will make it easier for you to re-enforce boundaries throughout the week.
Go Offsite: Sometimes you just need to get away so you can really focus. Select a day or two in the week and take your laptop to a coffee shop or a public park. This will allow you to be focused and productive, and give you a change of scenery. It will also help break things up in the home routine.

Take Breaks: When you work any job, you are allotted breaks for various reasons. Don’t let working from home change that. Just because you are not commuting to an office doesn’t mean you’re required to eat lunch at your desk while you answer emails. Walk away like you would at work. Have lunch with the spouse and/or kiddos if they’re home. Use it as an opportunity to interact with them and give them some attention in the middle of the day. After all, this is one of the perks of working from home.

Working from home has opened doors to a unique blend of professional responsibilities and cherished family moments. Embracing this arrangement will improve the integration of work and family life, creating deeper connections and shared experiences. Work through the adjustments, create the boundaries, but remember that the time you get to give back to your family is worth more than the money you make for them. Work together to find your rhythm and make the most of the new adventure.

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Contributors: gryphon89, Jay794, goodnewzevery1, bearded_bustah, ServingTheMaster, Better_Employment_56, illegal_deagle, BlueGoosePond, Davidat0r, jessendjames, superxero044, GardeningDad, hallerx0, Ericdrinksthebeer, anon_e_mous9669, Cheeetooos, OctopusParrot, nobody_smart, staddic, dcraig275