The search for work/life bal­ance

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - Robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

Work­ing from home can seem like the dream job. Aside from abol­ish­ing com­mute times, it can make manag­ing work and fam­ily sig­nif­i­cantly eas­ier so that you’re do­ing the shop­ping when ev­ery­one’s in the of­fice and catch­ing up on work when the kids are in bed.

I’ve had a few cracks at work­ing from home in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions over the years and there are some def­i­nite ups and downs to this kind of set-up.

Firstly, it’s about as good as it gets if you have pri­mary school-aged kids. You can do pick-ups and drop-offs with­out too much drama and make up the time later in the evening. There’s also the op­por­tu­nity to get a quick load of wash­ing on the line on sunny days or stack the dish­washer for a new cy­cle.

With­out the dis­trac­tions of an of­fice en­vi­ron­ment, you can po­ten­tially get a whole lot more done.

Mostly, though, you’re swap­ping one set of dis­trac­tions for an­other so that you need to be quite dis­ci­plined about ig­nor­ing the vac­u­um­ing or the un­made beds and head­ing straight for your desk.

I know peo­ple who have set them­selves up so that they need not set a foot out­side their own of­fice space, which has in­cluded a sep­a­rate toi­let and kitch­enette for tea mak­ing.

I’ve never been quite that welle­quipped. The clos­est I came was a study at the front of the house where I spent per­haps a lit­tle too much time star­ing out the win­dow watch­ing the neigh­bours.

For some­one who works in the com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try, I’ve also found work­ing from home a lit­tle iso­lat­ing. That was made worse by mov­ing to a new city with no net­work of fam­ily or friends to fall back on.

Still, there are days in the of­fice where it feels like your time could be bet­ter spent work­ing from home. As long as some­one else does the house­work.

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