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.

Should You Ever Relocate For Work?

If you’re looking for a new job, there are plenty of places online to search, and by inputting your details, your qualifications, and what you’re looking for, you’ll find a variety of different positions that need to be filled. Some of those positions, if you applied and were successful in being offered the job, would require relocating. 

Is this ever something you should consider? Is any job worth packing up your entire life and moving to another city, state, or even country? Read on to find out. 

Image from Pixabay

Is The Money Better? 

Although not everything in life should revolve around money, there is no doubt that it is extremely important. If the money is a lot better than whatever you’re earning now, or if it’s the same or a little better but will go further due to lower living costs, then it may well be worth relocating. Even if you only intend to move for a short while, just to earn enough to pay off some debts or get your financial situation in a better position, this may well be something to think about. 

Remember that you can negotiate with a new company when it comes to relocation costs, and they should be able to help you find a place to live and get your car to your new place using the experts at CarsArrive Auto Relocation, for example. But if the money isn’t going to work for you, relocation won’t be worth doing. 

Are You Comfortable With Change? 

Some people find that changes, even significant life changes, don’t really affect them very much. They are able to just get on with things and settle into a new way of life quickly. Others are much less comfortable with change, and moving to a new place and starting a new job all at once might just be too much. 

You need to be honest with yourself about how well you handle change because this could have a big impact on whether you would be able to relocate for work or not. If change is something that causes you stress and anxiety, it won’t matter how great the new job is or how wonderful the new location is, you won’t enjoy the process, and it will cast a shadow over everything. It’s far better to continue searching for a job near home

Is It Just About You? 

If you live alone and have no particular family or friend relationships that would suffer if you moved further away, then the decision is solely yours to make. However, if you live with a spouse or partner, if you have children, if you have a close friendship group that you see regularly, or you’re part of a very close family, there are other things you need to consider as well. Or rather, other people. The decision will no longer just be about you. 

This is especially true if you have a partner and children. They will need to relocate as well, and this could be a massive disruption, especially if the children are happy at their school and your partner has a job they love. It might be a hard discussion to have, but it’s a vital one. 

Turning Phone Idle Browsing Into Meaningful Success

It’s always the same. You made a cup of coffee, sat down, and took out your phone. You just wanted to kill a few minutes until your drink gets to the right temperature. Suddenly, your coffee is stone cold, one hour has passed, and you’re late to pick up your kids. How did that happen?

Don’t worry if this sounds like a familiar situation? We are all guilty of wasting a lot of time, mindlessly scrolling down social media apps – don’t try to deny it, surveys reveal that the average user spends almost 150 minutes every day on social networking platforms – without achieving anything. Social media consumption is the number one time waster on smartphones. Additionally, it is also interesting to mention that even though you and I spend a lot of time scrolling our social media feeds, we have also reached a level of saturation. Indeed, we watch, but we don’t engage. Needless to say, it’s a brain-numbing way of wasting your time, while there are more productive things you could do with your smartphone.

Transform your use of your phone

Learn how to  make a little money on the side

The main problem with our smartphone usage is that we tend to fall into idle activities almost immediately. If you want to make conscious and more productive use of your phone, you need to focus on activities that make a difference. Using your spare time to build a profitable side hustle is a fantastic idea, for instance. There are countless of betting apps around – you need to be careful about the ones you choose. But if you know where to look, you can start a safe investment strategy with matched betting apps. Indeed, matched betting means that you are always going to earn money – it might not be as much as if you were betting on the winning team, but it also means that you’re not losing anything apart from a few cents. In the long term, it’s a profitable way of spending 15 minutes on your phone.

Schedule your entertainment

The main reason why you might want to check on your social media network is that you’re looking for something entertaining. Social media, however, isn’t the answer. If you want to de-stress on your phone, you should consider downloading some high-quality smartphone games – you can find out more about the latest games on Kiiings, which will save you aimless searching for “games” on Play Store or the App Store. Video games are renowned for their relaxing quality – at least good games. It might not seem like a productive use of your time, but releasing stress is vital to your mental and physical health.

Click your way through a new language

Who says your phone couldn’t be educational? You can boost your skills listening to podcasts, for instance. For language lovers, there are many apps available, such as FluentU and Duolingo, to learn a new language or improve your French vocabulary. Oh la la, indeed!

In the end, your smartphone is a gadget that is supposed to help you make the most out of your day. Whether you use it for investment, education, or stress management, it’s entirely up to you. The bottom line is that there is so much more it could do for you than just showing you the latest Facebook status updates of your best mates.

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

Cutting Through Messy Side Hustles With Accessibility

Whether you are an independent freelancer or you’ve decided to launch your own side-hustle company, there is one thing that you need to know from the start: Messy businesses don’t make it. Indeed, in a world where everything is accessible in a click, you can’t afford to delay your work and services. That’s precisely why organization is essential: Keeping everything you and your customers need accessible at all times.

For freelancers, stay-at-home dads and moms, and independent professionals, the notion of accessibility is the ideal combination of digital technology and offline practicality. To create a substantial presence, you need to focus your efforts on gathering the tools to maximize your response time, your availability at the right time and location, and your visibility on the go. Being accessible in the modern economy is as much about ensuring customers can find you than ensuring you can find what they need from you.

Mobile side hustlers need an app

Business on the go is what your customers want

Online retailers such as Amazon have built their entire businesses on enabling maximum accessibility to their customers. There is only one level up after that, and it’s to redefine the on-demand market. Indeed, side-hustlers need to look for one-to-one alternatives to make accessibility their USP – Unique Selling Proposition – on the go. Thankfully, you can find guidance in Android Uber app inspired platforms that put individual skills and features on a market in needs of short-term and immediate services. Getting in touch with a professional massage or beauty expert, for instance, can happen through an app, where you can book the right service to the location of your choice. For a mobile hairdresser business, this is the perfect solution.

The most effective office in the world

Admittedly, even a mobile side-hustle business needs a tidy office space where you can keep all your invoices, certification and equipment. Keeping a side-business at home is, however, tricky, especially if you’re prone to misplace documents or items. Here’s another rule of accessibility for you: Everything in one place and one place for everything. Something as simple as labeling your electric cords can avoid confusing in the long term. Similarly, storage boxes and color-coded filing systems will keep your stuff organized and easy to find whenever you need them. Why does it matter? Because your side-hustle on the go needs to maintain a professional front both for customers and official authorities.

No more wasting space!

Finding digital storage room for your business data is also a matter of accessibility. You don’t want to walk around with a pack of USB keys at all times, trying to remember what is stored on each of them. Live with your time! Your side hustle needs cloud computing to keep all data accessible when you need them – and to scale up when you need more storage space. For someone who wants to stay on top of the curve, it makes everything accessible from anywhere!

Cloud computing

In conclusion, with half of Americans pursuing a side-hustle career, you can’t afford to build your freelancing activities without accessibility. From making your services accessible when people need them to keeping all your business documentation stored and findable for admin purposes, being accessible gives you the economic freedom you crave.

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