How Working from Home Affects Family Life

Millions around the world were forced to do their work at home because of coronavirus. And experts think that working from home is here to stay and will become a regular part of business operations even after things go back to normal.

There are many advantages to telecommuting, like saving time from commuting, fewer distractions, and work flexibility. Many single employees may, indeed, prefer this setup for the long-term. But what if you are a parent who lives in the house with growing kids? Not to mention the chores waiting for you and the meals you have to prepare.

A recent study in the UK cites that parents working from home have experienced adverse effects on their family relations and well-being. Some cons of this setup are worth looking into to avoid creating conflict between work and family life.

Blurring lines between work and family life

It’s nice to spend more time with the family, but being home doesn’t mean you’re available all the time. That is especially hard for women. It can be hard finding a balance between the demands of work and family.

Saying “no” to both when it’s necessary is crucial. Make sure that you don’t fall behind on your work, but at the same time, you’re not required to put in a lot of extra time just because you’re home. Know when it’s time to shut down the laptop and start family time.

If this continues to be an issue, looking into going to coworking spaces may help ease the situation. It can serve as an alternate location for when you are joining an important Zoom meeting or interfacing with a client, or you just really need to focus on an ongoing project. Coworking spaces are a good option when you can’t go to the office, but locking yourself inside a room is not enough.

Dealing with distractions

time with family

One may argue that there are more distractions at home than in the office. Even if parents employ a nanny, dealing with distractions from their children and their needs is still required from parents working at home.

The difference between the home and the office is the kind of distractions you get at home are personal and usually require immediate attention. Your instinct as a parent may urge you to give comfort or assistance to your child. Or suddenly the plumbing is leaking, so you have to find a handyman soon.

Identifying which requires your full attention and which does not will help you avoid distractions while working. If the kids are old enough, make them understand that you should not be disturbed during certain times of the day. Or work out something with your spouse on who takes care of what in the household.

The feeling of isolation

You may be in a house full of people, but telecommuting can cause isolation among working parents. Adults also need connection, and the lack of physical interaction with fellow adults or co-workers can affect your well-being.

Time may come when you’ll want a breathing room from your family and long for some company of friends or close acquaintances. Being home all time and in the time of the current health crisis has been found to increase mental and emotional stress.

Not many can deal with the feeling of isolation when working at home, and that could lead to depression. Being aware of this and taking steps to take care of your mental health is vital to keeping a healthy balance and a happy life.

Indeed, working from home is not for everyone, but many people don’t have much of choice at this time. Setting a clear line between work and home life is essential to surviving this setup, both for you and your family’s sake.

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