What’s a Work from Home Parent to Do This Summer? Tips for Taming the Turmoil

It’s no secret working from home offers numerous perks for parents. While earning an income we gain increased control over our schedules allowing for more time with family. We save money by reducing or eliminating childcare expenses, buying fewer work outfits and eat at home more often. 

 Summer is a reminder though that working remotely also has its share of challenges. Parents struggle to balance work life and family life. Kids, no matter the age, need attention. Young children want to play, have friends over, and go swimming, and older kids often translates to an endless list of household chores and distractions. Meanwhile, clients are calling, emails are piling up and that to-do list keeps getting longer.

 It is possible to make this time with your children home enjoyable while you continue to meet deadlines and earn an income. Here is a short list of ideas you can begin to implement immediately.  

 Routines all around
Designing and adhering to routine together can provide you and your family with freedom from chaos and stress. Be sure to plan both play time and work time each day. Knowing when mom or dad need time to focus on work and when they will be available for fun help set an expectation and provide children with positive anticipation. A routine that provides structure and discipline in children’s lives fosters security in them and also increases the likelihood of checking off your most important tasks. 

 Goals keep us going
Setting and achieving goals clarifies what you need to accomplish and build confidence and motivation. When our energy or excitement begin to diminish having goals will help us stay focused. Since children can feel a sense of control when they are able to set and achieve goals it’s important to make this, too a family activity. Use the SMART framework to keep your goals S-specific, M-measurable, A-achievable, R-results-focused and T-timely. Most of all, keep it fun!

 Be creative with child care
There is no doubt finding summer child care options can be difficult and costly. If your schedule requires you to work full time, a nanny or summer camp may be your best option. If your work allows for a flexible schedule or part time hours, a little creativity can help save on costs while keeping your child entertained. Whether you coordinate with a spouse or swap child care with a neighbor , pre-planning is key. Gather the family, grab your calendar and look online for schedules of local recreation centers, libraries and summer school programs. Plan your work time when the children are busy with activities that interest them.

Home is where the heart should be
We all know the added activity at home translates to major distraction. Managing the family requires more from you, leaving little time for much else. Chores are piling up, and Netflix sounds like a nice reward for all this energy you’re expending. Escaping to a coffee shop to work may seem like a good option until you realize how uncomfortable, isolating and unmotivating it really is. Coworking is quickly becoming the best option for mobile working parents. Shared workspaces help parents establish community, find motivation, and provide freedom from distraction. When more separation between work and home life is what you’re craving establishing a coworking membership is ideal. Set aside distractions so you can tackle your to-do list and make your home a place for guilt-free family time. 

It’s not always easy, but it is possible to get your work done andenjoy your family this summer. At WorkSmart, we make that easier for you. You can get right to work without distraction, surrounded by like-minded people who can identify with your daily struggles and achievements. Membership plans start at $97/month with the flexibility to fit your summer routines. Get in touch with us to come check out the space. We’d love to help you have a fantastic summer.

 

 
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Ready To Move From Your Comfort Zone?

I recently read how “video is like pizza- when it’s bad, it’s still really good.” This live video interview with, WTEN News Channel 10 pushed me way out of my comfort zone. Though I had some idea, I wasn't sure exactly what questions would be asked. Several years ago I decided I would say “yes” more often when opportunities were presented, then figure out how to make them happen. Though I need more practice, I am glad I had this experience.

What have you said “yes” to recently? Are you glad you did? Why? Share your comments below to help encourage others not to wait for perfection but to embrace opportunities.

Is Isolation Holding You Back?

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Researchers are warning isolation experienced by mobile workers is more serious than just a feeling of loneliness. They indicate it’s becoming an increasingly common physical and behavioral risk. A recent Forbes article explains remote workers are experiencing three other types of isolation in addition to social isolation.

Since opening WorkSmart, coworking has enabled me to build relationships with a diverse group of people in a range of industries. It has reduced feelings of social loneliness, and allowed me to ask questions and collaborate with various professionals gathered in one space. As I have worked to overcome resource isolation it’s been rewarding to help others connect more easily to resources they need.

There is a significant overlap in feeling a sense of happiness and feeling a sense of meaning and purpose. Aristotle wrote that finding happiness and fulfillment is achieved “by loving rather than in being loved.” This growing community of mobile workers fosters a sense of happiness and well being as together we work, discover and share resources, and encourage and motivate each other.

Supporting Startups at the Capital Region Business Plan Competition

April 12th brought me the opportunity to represent WorkSmart as a judge for the Capital Region Business Plan Competition Semi-Finals at University at Albany. The event brought together some collegiate entrepreneurs, business mentors from across the region, and the event’s sponsors from Innovate 518, the Capital Region’s Hot Spot, and the UAlbany Innovation Center.

We evaluated companies in six prize categories including Agtech & Food, Energy & Environment, Military & First Responder, MedTech & Wellbeing, Technology & Entertainment, and Consumer Products & Services. Some teams were in the research and development stage while others were testing their proof of concept, and several were ready to launch.  

Having recently become the owner of a business I know first-hand the discipline, dedication and research required to formulate and pitch a business plan. Let’s face it, pitching is important. An opportunity to have interactions with potential customers, investors and strategic partners can ride on a sound pitch. Business plan competitions force you to condense the million things you could say about your product or service into a well-rehearsed few sentences that resonate with your audience and inspire them to take the next step, whether it be a follow-up phone call or an investment. 

At stake for these talented students were prestige, pride and prize money, and that brought a buzz to the air. Each team had just ten minutes to make their case and allow Q&A time for the judges. The teams I had the privilege of judging were well prepared and clearly articulated their business plans including the returns on investment, and growth strategies. The students were impressive, and the best ones had the foresight to build out their management teams with accomplished professionals, who were undoubtedly great sources of support for the students. Judges with various areas of expertise empowered students with sound feedback.

Congratulations to the winner, EmpowerU Virtual Reality. They are using virtual reality to efficiently deliver realistic training programs requiring the use or evaluation of complex human motor functions. Exciting stuff!

Do you have a business idea or concept you would like feedback on? Do you need help constructing a business plan? Are you preparing a business pitch? WorkSmart can connect you with resources and opportunities to help you find success. Connect with us today: info@worksmartgf.com