I love the quote by Karren Brady in Saturday’s Guardian where she talks about the fact that “Doing it all means having two personalities – a home personality and a work one.” She claims the trick is to be very organised and have a clear divide about who you are.
It’s a fact that’s true for all working mums especially in this economic climate where the pressure to be more and do more at work is on the up. Having worked from home for a number of years I think this quote should also be the mantra for all mums who work from home.
While there are many benefits to being able to work from my house (no commute, no work wardrobe, no office politics) it isn’t a perfect solution to childcare and it can be near impossible to keep one life from overlapping onto the other.
While I always have an ear to what’s happening downstairs (currently a loud sibling fight over who’s hitting who with the remote), I am also guilty of having one eye on work when I’m looking after the kids. And I know it’s a battle many mums who work from home have.
Currently around 3.1 million people in the UK are regular home-based workers, with the great majority of these being mums who either work a part of the week at home or run their businesses from home. For most the reason is simple – money! It’s cheaper to work from home and juggle childcare then pay all your earnings to a childminder/nursery, plus it makes for happier kids.
For friends who have to go to work it looks like an enviable position and mostly it is. However, if you’re tempted by it be warned, it’s impossible to only work set hours and as Karren says you have to be super organised just to cope with the pressure of both lives simultaneously bearing down on you.
My trick is to have that clear divide both at 10 am and 5pm by closing my office door. In the morning I leave all my domestic debris outside the door and at night all my tech gadgets behind the door. That way I can’t tempted to finish ‘one last thing’ whether it is laundry or work.
So how do you keep your work and home life separate? I’d be interested to know.
Deal of the day:
Apple are offering a FREE £65 Gift Card code for teachers, student and staff on Mac purchases, plus 2% back for your kids on Education Store Purchases before 20 September!