Submitted by Lisa Giles - "... let your family know they are your top priority. Also let them know that your work will be your primary focus during the day until they become your primary focus during in the evening."
Almost 20 years ago, while supporting a family member recovering from a health issue in Omaha, Nebraska, my innovative manager arranged for me to telecommute to my job in New York City. Since then, I've been successfully telecommuting on-and-off for different companies while advancing my career and achieving personal milestones along the way.
During this time, I've navigated career goals, and my husband and I have also welcomed two daughters, who are now 14 and 17. Telecommuting has enabled me to bridge my mother and employee roles, although I have needed to make some adjustments along the way.
At one point I feared that I was focusing too much energy on my career. While I was “home” a lot, I didn't always feel like I was focused on my family quite enough. This fear was confirmed when my then 7-year-old made me a Mother’s Day card that showed a picture of the back of my head, as I sat at my desk facing a computer monitor. The caption read: “Company worker”. That's when I knew I wanted to make some changes.
I wanted to better balance my work and parent roles so that my daughters saw me as more than a round-the-clock employee in our home. It wasn't easy, and it took some time, but I successfully found ways to find balance both roles so that I was both a successful mom and a valuable employee and leader.
READ LISA'S BEST TELECOMMUTING PRACTICES BELOW
Telecommuting has been very effective for me and others I've known. I have benefited both personally and professionally from the flexibility it provides, and so have my employers. I learned that it takes discipline to meet both personal and professional commitments. For me, setting clear boundaries has been the key to success.
My advice to telecommuting parents is to let your family know that they are top priority. Also let them know that your work will be your primary focus during the day until they become your primary focus during in the evening. Giving your family your best self, free from thoughts of the work that sits waiting just a few feet away in your home office, is a great gift that produces long-term benefits.
LISA'S BEST PRACTICES FOR TELECOMMUTING