Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to Find The Secret to Work Life Balance

How does one find the secret to work life balance? One way could be moving your office or your skills to to a home office. By moving your career in house you eliminate immediate stress, the stress of commuting, work employee stress, and more. Deciding to work from home is a very personal decision and everyone's reasons are different. Did you know there are 5.7 million people who work at home according to the 2007 American Community Survey . I can only imagine that the number since then has only increased.

Balancing work and family for working mothers, caregivers and seniors is always a chore. Most people have to work to live. There are more and more companies such as Jet Blue, Get a Freelancer, 800 Flowers, companies, Odesk and so many others that are providing outsource jobs for telecommuting, freelance work, customer service representatives, medical transcriptionists, mystery shoppers, bookkeepers and more Online Schools and Colleges can also provide work from home positions as teachers, tutors and more. There are many businesses that allow us to create our own flexible working conditions. We just need to have a work life plan or goal in order to make it work and be successful.

1. Create a plan at least 5 years. A 10 year plan would be better updating it often. What do you want to achieve and how are you going to get there? For example you would like to start a family, but you don't want to put your baby in daycare. In this situation a customer service job for a call center may not work, but maybe a data entry, freelance writer, blogger, bookkeeper, web designer, or a job as a programmer may be better. These positions are not 9 to 5 positions and are more flexible.
2. The more you plan the less work life stress you will have. What professional skills do you have? How can you use them in a work at home career?
3. Do you want to work as an employee? Or do you prefer to work as a freelancer or subcontractor?
4. Working at home can be very isolating. The social network you have by going to work everyday will no longer exist. How will you fill this void? You may want to join a book club, volunteer or make a point to have lunch a few days a week with other people that work from home.
5. When we make any plan, whether its the household budget or a plan for work life balance, we need discipline. Many people find it a challenge to get motivated when working at home. Maybe the laundry isn't done, the lawn is not mowed, the floors aren't washed etc., but working at home needs to be treated like any other job. Show up on time and dress the part.
6. Family and friends need to know that just because you work from home does not mean they can come over during the hours you are scheduled to work to have a 2 hour social visit. They need to know you are serious about your work at home career and that this is part of your livelihood.
7. Help lower work stress by having your own work space to go during work time. Have the home office comfortable, decorated and inspiring. A place you like to be everyday.
8. The third most important thing to remember is KNOW WHEN TO QUIT YOUR DAY! This is very important in balancing work and life. Some people have a hard time knowing when to stop working. When the office is in your home you may feel compelled to just finish a project or just finish writing that article. Whatever the reason set a work schedule and stick to it.
9. The second most important thing to remember in balancing work and family always take a few minutes everyday for yourself. Whether it is exercising, a hot bath or a power nap take a few minutes a day to clear your head.
10. This to me is the most important thing to consider in any part of balancing work and family or to balance work and life whether you work at home or in high stress corporate career LOVE WHAT YOU DO AND THE REASONS FOR DOING IT!