How Do You Balance Work and Family While The Kids Are Banging On Your Home Office Door?

Remote Nation© needs your help: Give us your best tips to balance work and family

Not having children myself – albeit with a spouse who at times approximates one – I’d feel disingenuous offering extensive advice to help you balance work and family. Some experts lacking personal knowledge on a subject might forge ahead and strike an authoritative tone, but I’m just not one of them. Instead, Remote Nation© wants your advice if you have kids running around the house during the workday.

Answer one big question for us: How do you it?

Telecommuting with toddlers making significant demands on your time is emerging as a major issue for remote professionals as more and more off-site employees – many of whom are parents – enter the workforce. Speaking with friends and colleagues, in fact, I get the sense that many of you have two bosses: your manager and your children.

Is It Even Possible to Balance Work and Family?

Of course, your children can’t fire you. On the flip side, you’re not responsible for your boss’s personal welfare. I believe it’s important to keep this distinction in mind, because the biggest challenge for any remote worker is the collision of two worlds: home life and work life. For traditional workers, there’s a clean line: At the end of their day, they leave one space for another; one, they shared with their colleagues, the next, with their family, partner, roommates, and pets.

For digital workers, that line is blurred: Work often takes place at home – where we spend our most private moments – and children can make things even blurrier. It’s up to you, then, to establish clear boundaries for both your children and for your employer. That much I can tell you, since negotiating upfront is a core value for all citizens of Remote Nation©.

Another core value is our notion of integration. In other words, it may not be possible to achieve a perfect balance; work and family demand different things from us on different days, and rarely will they conform to our expectations or best laid plans. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan; it just means that you should allow room for improvisation and exceptions. Your workflow must integrate with your family life, and if you have children, it’s imperative that you build in measures to make this integration a harmonious or at least a tenable one.

So, Really, How Do You Balance Work and Family?

Easier said than done, right? Well, I don’t know – you tell me! Have you found a rhythm? I’d love if you could contribute to our conversation and keep it going. I’ve spoken with several folks I know recently, but I want as many techniques, strategies, and opinions as possible. Send me some tips on how to balance work and family, and I’ll give you a shout-out in an upcoming blog post and on Twitter!

Photo by Alexander Dummer