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I work from home. How do I keep work out of my family time over Christmas?

Tuesday, 13 December 2011 | By Jane Shelton

This article first appeared on December 14th, 2011.

 

Maintaining home-based relationships with your partner, family, friends and associates requires everyone on the team to know when you need assistance by setting out clear guidelines on how they can help out.

 

'Tis the season to be jolly... busy.

 

This means that the demands of your customers will compete for every spare moment that you have available and everyone thinks that their wishes should demand your attention.

 

At the same time you have to remember the reasons that you are working from home in order to meet the needs of your family and your own desire to "be the boss".

 

Maintaining home-based relationships with your partner, family, friends and associates requires everyone on the team to know when you need assistance by setting out clear guidelines on how they can help out.

 

This means that you need to be clear and direct on the level and specific about what assistance is required when you are "at work" and appreciate when customer demands may require special attention over the holiday season because the home-based business does not stop for holidays.

 

So let's look at some of the ways in which you can retain the best of both worlds:

 

1. An open and closed sign for your home office

 

Have your kids make up a sign that says "OPEN FOR BUSINESS", another saying "CLOSED FOR  FAMILY BUSINESS.”

 

This enables everyone to understand when you are available to maintain each type of business rather than trying to let these two demands compete for your sanity.

 

2. Can the kids help?

 

See if there are ways that your family can help you fill orders, take messages and understand the importance of customer service.

 

This encourages understanding of the way in which your home office is a work place rather than a home invasion.

 

3. Look into outsourcing

 

Consider which parts of your business life can be handed over to a professional manager, an accountant.

 

Or, if necessary, declare that the business will be back on line in the New Year.

 

As I write in my book No Workplace Like Home: "Establishing a clear personal plan helps you live more of your life. It's not just about the money.”

 

“It is also about living a healthy and wealthy lie to achieve your dreams and build a better future for yourself and your family".

 

The more that you can get your household to share your dreams the better the chances of making sure that you keep a sense of balance.

 

Make family time the raison d'etre of your Christmas season (so that it becomes a valued part of their Christmas break but not the whole of your life).