For some people, working from home is more than just an escape from the traditional "rat race" of the average workweek. It offers numerous benefits beyond the fuel savings of almost $500 per year or the ability to conduct business from bed and in pajamas (if that's your style). These benefits include greater freedom in terms of time management and the opportunity to work from any location one desires.
Still, there are potential downsides, most of which are only compounded when being a parent. How does one juggle the responsibilities of working with the needs of running a household and taking care of children, and finding peace through it all? Is maintaining a peaceful work environment possible?
Absolutely, the conundrum as presented can’t be ignored with a locked office door, as working from home means being in the thick of everything, from finishing assignments and keeping up with communications to household chores and attentiveness to the kids. There’s no easy route to finding this elusive balance, as it can only be reached through trial and error.
Thankfully, no matter how busy things can get, there’s always peace of mind in knowing that all of life’s problems are now being met upfront. After all, working from home means working on personal terms, not simply those of a single employer.
At home, work doesn’t just have to be done from a desk or guest room. If needed elsewhere, for babysitting, general cleaning duties, or anything else, take a laptop or tablet. Setting up on a couch with a coffee table and maybe an ottoman to kick back and rest a little would be a perfect setting - as far as this writer is concerned. Pour yourself a nice beverage, leave the television off or the volume on low, and just begin.
In between breaks and lulls, glance away from the chores, and look towards your business. In this position, it’s best to feel as relaxed as possible, as doing multiple things at once can be too stressful and cause issues with focus and concentration.
The work environment is everywhere at home, sometimes even beyond the home itself, like on a porch or at a coffee shop. Being surrounded by nice things, from sunlight and fresh air to the smell of a good cappuccino can produce a most productive day. Of course, not everyone has these amenities nearby, so turning where the work is done into what will be a very lovely space is important.
Think candles, stickers, bobblehead dolls, posters, and other elements that make for a pleasant atmosphere. Like the old saying “dress for success,” do the same for the home office.
The rat race, if it’s to be called that, isn’t so traditional anymore. People can work from anywhere and can do amazing things from unimaginable places. But no matter the potential for productivity, if there’s no peace where the job is done, then the possibility of a miserable experience can creep in.
Take time and effort to adjust for rest, relaxation, and work setting changes. If the overall mood feels good, the work will feel better, and the home will be the best place of all to be.