Working from home may be a solution to your work/life balance problem as a caregiver. But you have to go into it prepared.
Carve out Your Own Space
The biggest part of having success while working from home is to have a physical space which you can devote just to yourself and to your work. If this space has a door, that’s even better. You’re going to need an area that you can lay claim to that is just for you to work from when you’re on the clock. Smaller homes can make this difficult, as can larger families. It might be necessary to move some things around to find that one spot just for you.
Get Clear on Your Duties
There are plenty of jobs that you can do from home seamlessly. Much of the duties that you perform at a desk job, for instance, can be done remotely via email and telephone. This isn’t true for every job, of course, but your employer may be willing and able to make some adjustments to your duties in order to help you work from home. Get as clear as you possibly can about what your new job duties will require so you can take the next step.
You’ll Need a Plan
Working from home requires a plan so that you can meet the needs of every aspect of your life, including as an employee and as a caregiver. Your plan is never going to be perfect and you might find that you have to tweak it in order to get things right. That’s okay. It’s all a part of acclimating to your new reality. Take the time to set up a plan for how you’ll handle interruptions, what hours you’ll be working, and anything else that you can think of that might affect your ability to work.
You’ll Also Need Some Extra Help
One of the aspects that you’ll need to plan for is how you’ll handle it when your senior needs help, but you’re busy working. You could just go ahead and remain available to your elderly family member no matter what, but that may not be something that is reasonable. Hiring senior care providers during your working hours ensures that you’re able to work uninterrupted and your aging adult has someone to help her.
Ultimately it’s up to you and your employer as to whether working from home will meet your needs as a caregiver as well as your company’s needs. More and more companies are on board with offering flexible options, so it’s worth exploring whether this might be something that solves issues for you.