In the spirit of National Work-Life Week, a Working Families initiative, we’ve prepared a few useful articles for those thinking about working from home, or those looking to re-address their work-life balance. Happy reading!
When I decided as a single parent to adopt my daughter from China back in 2006, I knew that things would have to change within my career if I was going to be there for my child.
Over the years my career has taken centre stage, and I have struggled to find the balance between life and work. When the adoption finally happened after many years of waiting, I was leading a small web team within a demanding work environment.
I loved my job and team, but the stress was taking its toll. Commuting to the office every day, rushing to get to the nursery every night to pick up my daughter, preparing dinner, taking a bath and getting her ready for bedtime always felt rushed, because I would then get back to work in the evenings. Burnout was starting to set in, so I decided to make a career change — and it was one of the best decisions I have made.
Citrix and GoToMeeting have given me the balance I need and made me a better person and parent by providing me with the tools and environment to both grow professionally and meet the needs of my family.
Citrix is a company that wholeheartedly believes in their products and their people. As an organisation, we use our products every day to collaborate and communicate with each other, our partners and our customers.
We believe that you can work from anywhere in the world and still be a driving force within an organisation. Our marketing team is proof that the concept works. We all work from our home offices three days a week and in the Citrix offices together for the other two. And this is not to say that we are all in the same office; many of my colleagues are spread across Europe, Australia and North America.
Here are my top tips for working from home successfully:
Make your commute time your time. On the days I work from home, what would have been time spent in a stressful commute is now time for me and my daughter. We have breakfast together; I can even walk her to school and still have time to make a cup of coffee before sitting down at my desk. When my day is done, I can enjoy more evening time with her, something I couldn’t do as a regular commuter. It has made me a more productive employee — and a happier one.
Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks. You need those breaks in order to stay productive and healthy. I do find that when I am in my home office that I have to make a concerted effort to move away from my desk. I often get up and stretch, do a household task or sometimes take a walk around the block between meetings. My days are usually pretty full, and I will work straight through lunch depending on what is happening. So lately, I have been blocking time to take that break and have a sit in the garden, soak in the fresh air and regenerate for the afternoon.
Pick a spot to work that makes you happy. My desk is situated at the front my house and in front of a window. While I am on a call, I can look out and see what is going on in the world: people walking by, the post being delivered, the clouds rolling in. Workshifting doesn’t have to be isolating — it is about staying motivated in whatever space you have.
Stay connected with colleagues. I use GoToMeeting every day to communicate with my team in the UK, Germany, Ireland, Australia and the US. It allows me to quickly pop on or plan recurring meetings. I can share project plans and ideas quickly and record sessions for playback or sharing later. Many of my colleagues I have never met in person, but I know them and see them every day via HD video and have built great relationships because of it.
I am proof that having the right work culture, environment, tools and support can help you flourish in your work and personal life.
I’d encourage you to explore GoToMeeting for yourself with a free trial.
And if you have any further tips on how to make home working a success, please share them in the comments below.
Recommended reading: 6 tips to help you start working from home