Setting up your own business from home can be the answer to a lot of parent-related problems. You can work around school hours, avoid paying for costly childcare and be with your kids rather than sitting in a traffic jam once the working day has ended. This all sounds ideal but what do you do when they are sick or on holiday? Working from home while your kids are around can be stressful unless you plan ahead. Here is a guide on running a business with your kids at home.
If you can change your schedule during times when your kids are around, this can make life a lot easier. For example, instead of working 9-5, start working earlier in the morning so that you can spend your afternoon with the kids. Alternatively, add the time to the end of your day and go back to work once you have put your kids to bed. That way you can get the best of both worlds.
Set Ground Rules
If your kids understand the importance of your business and you set the ground rules, they are more likely to get on with other things during your working time and let you get on with your business. Give them clear guidance about what times you are going to work and plan some fun activities you can all do together once you have finished. This will give them something to look forward to.
Some tasks can be harder than others if you have kids around and it is worth considering delegating or outsourcing these tasks to fit around your kids. For example, call answering services can take messages for you during the day so that you can condense the time you spend on the phone and return calls when the kids are quiet or in bed.
Put Your Kids to Work
Kids will often play up or try to distract you if they are bored,but rather than putting their favourite Disney film on or handing them their iPad, why not let them help with the business instead? They may not be old enough to manage important deals by themselves, but they may be able to photocopy, send generic e-mails or design a mailshot. This is a wonderful way to keep the kids occupied and get them involved in your work. Who knows, you may want them to take over one day and turn it into a family business.
One of the reasons you started your company from home may have been to save on childcare costs but that doesn’t mean you can never arrange childcare. Sending them to a kids’ club one or two days per week or asking relatives to take care of them for part of the holidays could mean that you get more work done and that your kids don’t end up driving you crazy.
Managing a business from home whilst raising kids is certainly doable but you may need to make some changes during school holidays or sickness to make it work.