“Mom, have fun at your job!” is the phrase that my 4-year-old daughter, Luciana, tells me every day before starting my working day from what has been my office for the last few months: my home. Today we face various personal and professional challenges. In my case one of the main ones was how to balance my work and family time during this time of “work from home” and “study at home”? I would like to tell you what has worked for me personally and has helped me live this new normal.
Let’s start by saying that there are no secret or perfect formulas, but I can mention some “tips” that have been useful to me:
1: Listen, guide and trust your children
Not every day goes the way we expect it, but kids are awesome and they have that ability to lift our spirits with a word. They can even be very good at giving advice. My daughter often tells me: “Mom, have fun at your job”, “enjoy your call”, “have a nice conversation with your coworkers.” I stay seated at my desk and she goes to the next room to start her day. That is where any situation that one sees in a negative way, is totally transformed into an opportunity to smile and start the day positively.
As a new mom, I am easily surprised by what children do. One of the things that I admire and that never ceases to amaze me is the capacity they have to imagine, to entertain themselves and to adapt to change.
2: Divide and conquer
Another tip that I share with you and that has helped me is to divide my daughter’s day into blocks. The block with her breakfast or the block where my husband, my daughter and I start our daily projects separately.
In this way, we share, but we have our space. My daughter has space to exploit her creativity, play, read a book, or use her imagination to turn a cardboard box into the most precious toy. Always find a way to have fun. The key here is to show her the different options she has, guide her and be creative parents in providing her with materials that also help her enjoy those moments.
Of course, this space does not mean that we are isolated. In the middle of a meeting, Luciana has come over to ask questions or simply to greet my coworkers. At first, I confess that it made me a little nervous, but then I realized that this is all part of having that balance. We have even organized short meetings with the children of my co-workers, where we talk about what their favorite games are and what they are doing. That always makes me smile.
Family meal times are one of the moments we enjoy the most during the day. Preparing food together is an activity that also allows us to interact as a family.
In the afternoons, there is space for my daughter to access the television before taking her virtual class. I was surprised that at first I thought I should be by her side throughout her class, until I realized that she participated and had more fun when she took her lesson alone. Although yes, it broke my heart because I really wanted to be by her side.
At the end of the day, it is important to have quality time to dedicate to a family activity. For example, at the end of work we take an evening walk, or we put together a puzzle, to cite an example.
3: Healthy mind, healthy body
If there’s one thing I think time should be spent on, it’s mental health, which directly impacts your physical health. Something that during my 6 years working at Schneider Electric has been promoted to us is the culture of wellbeing. With this philosophy, what is sought is that people have a balance in our lives to be mentally and physically healthy. Based on this, I try to take breaks to get up from my desk and have a snack. This has also allowed me to actively interact with my daughter at times during the day.
During this time, as part of the wellbeing programs, Schneider Electric has organized activities that promote this practice. For example, at the end of the afternoon there are meditation and yoga sessions, which not only apply to us as collaborators but to any member of the family.
4: Get empowered!
A word that can be said easily, but for many people it is not so easy to put into practice. Among the values that are lived in Schneider Electric, there is the “Act Like Owners”, which empowers each employee and makes them feel valued for their knowledge and experience, allowing them to develop personally and professionally for their own benefit and that of the organization.
However, it is just as important to recognize that we are do not have superpowers. If I bring the theme of empowerment to family life, it is key to have a support network, so that in times of greatest workload we can assign chores around the house and help each other.
5: Set clear goals
Something that has helped me invest my time in the best way is setting clear goals. If you are clear about the expectations of the organization for your work, it is much easier to know which tasks we should focus on. This allows us to prioritize and direct our energies towards those actions that generate the greatest impact and thus be more efficient. In this way we will invest our time in the right job, which will allow us to have family time.
These 5 points are just a few that, from my experience, have been very useful. I close with the great learning of understanding that things can be learned from all circumstances, so let’s keep learning every day and practice patience and empathy.
Finally, I invite you to follow the advice of my daughter Luciana: “Have fun” in our work and to which I add: have fun with our family.
This blog originally appeared on the Schneider Electric Spanish blog.
About the Author
Genoveva Jiménez is a marketer, with 15 years of experience in the world of advertising, marketing and generating customer experience with brands. She is a mom, a wife, a lover of photography, interior decorating, and dachshunds. Currently, she holds the position of Business Intelligence Analyst for the Central America region at Schneider Electric.
Great People make Schneider Electric a Great Company.
Join Us where you have a meaningful purpose in an inclusive and empowering environment.