Summer is finally here, and this year is expected to look quite different than last, as families eagerly book vacations, summer camps and more. While many companies are still working remotely, employees, particularly parents, are still struggling to maintain work-life balance. Research has shown 7 in 10 Americans working from home during COVID-19 have struggled to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Additionally, a recent survey by the Conference Board found that 46% of respondents said their work-life balance had decreased.
Now, with children home for summer break, the challenge of balancing work and home life is even greater. Due to this, we’re breaking down tips and advice for enhancing culture in the workplace by maintaining a healthy work-life balance, particularly during the summer months.
Employees working from home should proactively communicate about their situation with their families and with management. It’s important that employees discuss the possibility of interruptions on internal and external calls and plan accordingly. Jennifer Pope, co-founder of Work Shield, shares this sentiment and agrees that communication is key with her children. “I believe children are more understanding about work commitments when parents openly communicate the importance of their cooperation when we have to give our undivided attention towards a call or meeting.”
It is also beneficial to set boundaries with children and management when working from home. Sharing your workspace at home with your family can lead to numerous distractions, so it is important to define boundaries, both in time and location, to find a space that can be dedicated to working on a regular schedule. Communicating this need helps manage expectations of your availability both with your colleagues and with your family.
When working from home, it’s important to plan ahead for both your own professional work week and for your kid’s week. Studies have shown multitasking decreases efficiency and that only 2.5% of people are able to multitask effectively. Jennifer continues, “It helps me to sit down and look at my work calendar for the week and plan meetings closely together to allow for small amounts of time to focus on my kids.” This strategy is called time blocking, and it is the process of segmenting your day into defined chunks of time to organize the tasks to complete and the necessary time to complete them. Implementing time blocking not only increases productivity, but also allows you to direct your full attention to your children at the appropriate time.
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About Travis Foster
Travis heads up Work Shield’s legal department and is known to be something of a jack of all trades – he is an experienced entrepreneur, as well as an attorney with a mechanical engineering background who designed and managed projects in both the energy and public utilities industries. Travis also contributes his wealth of capital knowledge and growth strategies for businesses to the Work Shield team.
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