Balancing Act: Handling Remote Work with Family Life

There’s bound to be some friction at the onset. When you’re doing work from home (WFH), some time or the other, family life is going to catch up on you. And it is never pretty. Indeed, it can be a tug-of-war, especially when you have toddlers at home.

But WFH is a lot better than no work at all, right? With people’s finances dwindling and mental health issues creeping up, finding work can be a monumental challenge in this COVID-19-stricken country. Luckily, many have adopted remote work. Before the virus, stats show only about 17 percent of America’s workers worked from home. Today, after the virus pummeled the Land of the Brave, that number has risen to 44 percent and rising.

That means more and more parents are juggling their acts and wearing many hats. As children are also home-bound with face-to-face classes discouraged, the home has become the center for everyone to thrive. But how do you, as parents or guardians, balance science projects and conference calls? How do you effectively spend quality time with your child as a tutor guide when you can’t even give ample time with your co-workers online?

The answer to all that is by striking a balance. You really can’t take away one from the other. As important as it is for you to help your kids grow in wisdom, the need to put food on the table is imperative. Below are helpful tips to show you how to juggle family and work responsibilities with finesse.

Factor a New Family Schedule

At the onset, it’s bound to be chaotic. With your work demanding deadlines be met and your kids doing their thing, from playtime to homeschooling to chow time, these responsibilities are bound to pull you in two different directions at the same time. Before you blow your fuse, know that you need to establish structure right from the get-go.

The first step is to set the time element. Factor a new family schedule. To do that, you need to prioritise. Start with a list if you have to. First up, the non-negotiable tasks such as eating time set a time for these things. If you feel alone, know that this task is best taken as a family. Schedule a weekly family meeting to go over key tasks.

A sample of the things you need to consider for the week ahead:

  • What assignments need to be submitted this week?
  • What role should you play in helping them submit on time?
  • What are the things they need to accomplish these tasks?
  • How much time do you need to be available to help them?

Then, of course, there’s the meal planning side and daily chores. You’ll have to factor in these things ahead of time. If your kids are old enough, you can delegate tasks such as cooking, groceries, and cleaning.

Review Daily

You need to understand that you need to take the lead in making your precious abode work. That’s the reason why doing a nightly debriefing should be a wise move. For instance, if you have a Zoom meeting in the morning, you need to ensure everyone is on the same page. That means the designated place where you’ll hold the call is reserved for your use only and that no one should be horsing around and shouting at the top of their lungs at that particular time.

In one sense, it certainly helps to have online access. For one, online sales lets you work from just about anywhere at home, be it in the attic or your garage. Apps for finding houses for sale are a good example here. Being available on your smartphone means these apps can help you find houses seamlessly in a jiffy.

Taking time to plan your day the night before is a good way to steer clear of complications. Thus, you should do this even if you’re a single mum or dad working on your own.

Dedicate Space for Work

This is a big one. The problem with your precious abode is it’s not really designed for work. It’s designed first and foremost for people to live there. So there’s the kitchen, sleeping space and all. With that said, you’d do yourself a big favour if you dedicate space solely for work.

With a dedicated space (that has a door as much as possible), you can stay focused away from the torments of home. It’s a given that if you don’t put in place appropriate distance and boundaries, you’re bound to be drowning with all sorts of complications from your family’s needs. That can be counterproductive. If not resolved, your productivity at work suffers, and with it, your job. It’s anybody’s guess what will happen next.

If you’re unsure how to get your workspace done right, learn how to have a good start.

Take Care of Yourself

All the stress at work and home can make you old in no time. Or worse, it can get you sick. And everything comes tumbling down when that happens.

Therefore, the key to your productivity is to take care of yourself. Give yourself some me-time. Observe breaks as they refresh your brain. A good start for you is to employ the Pomodoro Technique.

It’s definitely a tough act, working from home. But if you get it right, it’s actually a glorious opportunity: to earn while in the midst of people you love most.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

How To Reduce Costs When Working From Home

There are huge advantages to working remotely from home. Whether you’re self-employed or your employer allows you to work from home,  it can save you a lot of money. It is estimated that the average worker will save up to $4,000 per year (Source: USA Today: Money.) No more shelling out on commuting, work clothes, expensive lunches, and lattes every day. 

While you will save a lot of money, there are some costs that will rise when you make the switch to working from home. Read on for tips about how to reduce these costs. 

Internet Contract

Chances are, you will need a high-speed, reliable internet connection. There are so many options to choose from including internet without cable [is possible] or bundled with your landline and entertainment package. 

If you have had your contract with your broadband supplier for more than two years, you probably aren’t receiving the special rate you signed up for anymore. 

Shop around for a better deal. Most companies will throw in other freebies in order to entice you to switch including tech, entertainment passes, and coupons. Even if you don’t want to switch providers, you can call up your existing provider and ask them if they are able to price match other companies out there, or at least reduce your bill slightly as a gesture of goodwill. 

Food Costs

When you work in an office, it’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars per month on lunches, coffee, drinks with co-workers. That’s a great saving, but you’re going to see the cost of your weekly grocery bill rise sharply. Add to that how easy it is to have take out delivered in minutes, your wallet and your health might start to suffer. 

Here’s where a bit of planning can go a long way. Meal planning and meal prepping will not only save you money, but it can also improve your health. Plus, who wants to spend their precious lunch break cooking? 

Spend some time at the weekend planning your food, drinks, and snacks for the week, then cook and store them in advance.

Energy Use

Working from home means you’ll be using more electricity, gas, and water. You’ll start to see an increase in your energy bills. As with your other contracts, you’ll want to shop around to ensure you’re on the best tariff out there, but there are also things that you can do to reduce it further. Firstly, ensure that your home has adequate insulation. Turn off radiators in rooms you don’t use and use energy-efficient appliances

Claim Tax Deductions For Your Home Office

If you’re self-employed, you could be eligible for a tax deduction. If you use a part of your home exclusively for work, then you need to take advantage of this. You don’t have to have a dedicated home office, even a small desk counts. 

This is one of the most under claimed tax deductions by freelancers and the self-employed, mainly because, like most tax laws, it can seem complicated, so people don’t take the time to look into it. 


The financial benefits of working from home can be huge, but there are always other ways to reduce the costs and make your money go even further. 

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

5 Reasons Why You Need a Faster Internet Connection Right Now

Many people don’t seem to realize just how important it is to have a stable internet connection. We can connect with people all over the world with the right technology and it’s incredibly important to have the right internet speeds that can help us stay in touch with our loved ones. However, our entertainment consumption is also largely focused on the internet as well. Many people have swapped from cable television to internet streaming and it’s important to have a speedy connection in order to prevent stuttering videos and slow websites.

But do you really need a faster connection if you’re happy with what you have? We believe so, and we’ve listed five reasons below to help convince you.

No one likes a stuttering internet connection, but do you really need faster speeds as well?  

  1. The more devices, the slower the speed

The more devices you have at home, the more your speeds will be cut. This is because each device will be competing for internet speeds, so if you have a friend downloading and playing video games, then your Netflix video in the living room might suffer from stuttering if your speeds aren’t fast enough.

  1. If you work from home, it’s essential to have a high-quality connection

Speeds aren’t everything, but with fast speeds usually comes reliable connections. For instance, internet offered from from Suddenlink is both high-speed and reliable because they use all of the latest technologies in order to achieve fast speeds. These latest technologies are stable, safer and much faster, resulting in vastly improved connectivity to regular broadband connections or even basic fibre optic.

  1. High-quality video streaming is becoming more and more common

To go with high-speed internet and larger televisions, content on streaming websites like Netflix, Amazon Video and even YouTube are starting to become available in 4K or higher resolutions. In order to watch that gorgeous footage, it’s important to get a faster internet connection that can handle it.

  1. More bandwidth, more usage

We also need to think about bandwidth. Most high-speed internet packages come with far more data (or even unlimited data) to help you make the most of your speeds. This gives you far more freedom than being limited to a certain amount of data each month.

  1. You’ll also get increased upload speeds

Upload speeds also come with higher download speeds, and this makes it much easier to share videos, pictures or even broadcast your own videos to the internet. Upload speeds are just as important nowadays especially since we’re more prone to sharing our lives on social media and using video calling instead of just messaging.

At the end of the day, speed isn’t everything. Having a stable internet connection is far more important than speeds (in most situations) but with high speeds, you usually get a reliable connection as well. The internet is essential to our lives and having up-to-date speeds can help you stay connected to the rest of the world, hence why we’d definitely recommend upgrading whenever you see a great deal available.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.