How To Juggle & Balance Hybrid Working With Family Life – The New Normal Part 1
Posted by: Sue Atkins
Let’s talk about your new everyday normal.
How to achieve a happy, secure, effective hybrid work- family balance.
65% of public sector organisations say hybrid working – a mix of remote and office-based work – will be here to stay after Covid-19.
55% of private firms agree.
But if this is to be your new every day, there are plenty of challenges to overcome as we transition into a hybrid way of working.
The pandemic has transformed the meaning of going to work and what that means for your organisation, your family and for your lifestyle.
How can you make sure you are ready to embrace and thrive in this new way of working?
I think it’s about considering steps towards a structured working from home plan that keeps you and your family happy and content, while helping you to feel professional, engaged and energised.
Here are some tips that may help steer you in the right direction to obtain a happy and healthy home and productive work environment.
Be an early riser.
The big advantage of working from home is that you don’t waste time commuting.
Plan your morning routine – if you need to take the kids to school – book in Zoom Meetings after 9.30 am and avoid 3.30 for pickups – no need to explain, apologise or hide what you’re doing.
Manage your time – don’t let time manage you!
Pack the kids school bags the night before, make their sandwiches, put their shoes by the door with their reading book/ assignments and rucksack – ready to get going smoothly first thing.
Make a new house rule: no TV or tablets at breakfast time – it cuts down on arguments and speeds up your morning routine – it also connects you to your kids first thing and sets up the day for everyone in a more relaxed positive way.
This will allow you to benefit from some extra quiet time in the morning: no traffic jams, no frantic commutes – reducing hectic mornings.
Making you less stressed and more productive.
Use this time to make a quick start. It will enable you to finish a little earlier in the evening, leaving more time for some fun with the kids.
Set up boundaries
Just like in the office, it is important to have your own spot where you can work at ease and without distractions.
If you can turn one of your rooms into an office. Explain to your kids when you are in your office, they mustn’t disturb you. Get younger children to make you a sign for your door.
It is important to have your own spot where you can work at ease and the messaging is clear for everyone.
Setting boundaries with your children that ‘working from home’ means ‘working’.
Explain that they can’t disturb you during the working day and reward their good behaviour.
Work in bursts of 30 minutes so you can check on your children if they are home after their school day.
Create a ‘I’m Bored Jar’ – activities that they can do without you that a quick, simple and independent from your input.
Click here to find out how to make one quickly and easily
Plan ‘ING’ Activities for after work or weekends – cyclING, cookING, playING, buildING, explorING, readING – it’s about CONNECTING
if your children are young. Rotate their toys into baskets and hide them and bring then out monthly to huge squeals of surprise and delight!
Routine is key
It is also important for you to build some structure into your working day.
Arrange your tasks in order of importance and make sure you can carry out the most difficult tasks at times when it is calm for you, like early in the morning. It’s known as Mark Twain’s ‘Eat that Frog!’
‘If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning.’ Eating that frog means to just do it, otherwise the frog will eat you meaning that you’ll end up procrastinating the whole day.
By maintaining some form of structure within the family every day, everyone will adapt, and you will feel more in control and productive.
Divide the day up so you get some fresh air and regular breaks.
Make sure you transition properly from ‘work mode’ to ‘home mode.’
Because you are not commuting you may need to go for a walk after work to let go of the work day and transition into the home/ family atmosphere – don’t just come out of your home office ‘work mode’ and go straight into ‘parent mode’!
Plan conference calls wisely
If you are in virtual contact with colleagues or external stakeholders on a daily basis, make sure to schedule those meetings at a quiet time during the day, or when the children are at school, in order not to be interrupted too much.
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