By Deb LaMere, VP of Employee Engagement, Ceridian
Finding and maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be difficult, especially if you are a parent. But a time of the year when it can become especially difficult to maximize their productivity, both at home and in the office, is in the summer months.
Beyond the typical distractions of beautiful weather and opportunities to take mini vacations, parents often have to deal with a change in their children’s schedules due to being out of school, further complicating their time management.
Fortunately, there are strategies parents can use to make the most of their summers and ensure they are as productive as possible, a number of which I recently highlighted in this article by Fast Company. In my opinion, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the appropriate balance between work and play; it means different things to different people and families.
Your work-life balance changes as children grow and as the demands and opportunities at work evolve. Finding a comfortable balance is something you may find yourself working on and fine-tuning for the rest of your life.
That being said, there are still a handful of ways that parents can increase their chances of maximizing their time and energy this summer. Below are some helpful insight and tips for doing so.
1. Redesign your work hours
Many companies today have adjusted their policies to now allow flexible hours, especially in the summer. Look into what your business’ stance is on such rules and determine your possibilities for rearranging your schedule in a way that works best for both you and your family. Keep in mind that this can go beyond simply leaving a few hours early on Fridays. You may also be able to exercise the option to telecommute, even if it is only for a few days of the week or a portion of the workday. The important thing is that you take the time to talk to your employer and be open and honest about your situation.
At the end of the day, most human resource professionals and managers are happy to do what they can to satisfy the needs of their workers’ because they understand that employee satisfaction has as direct link to productivity.
As long as you show your commitment to important work objectives and deliver on your part in meeting them, your request for flexibility may be a non-issue!
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Although it may sometimes feel like it, you are not alone in stressing about your time management or juggling between work and personal responsibilities. And pretending otherwise can only heighten your feelings of burnout and overwhelm. Take a look at all of the tasks and functions you deal with on a weekly basis and see where it might be possible to enlist some help to unload the burden. This can include setting up a car-pooling schedule with other parents in the neighborhood or creating a chore list for your children to ensure everything around the house gets done.
You are likely not the only parent in your community in this situation. Seek out other parents in your community and see if you can work on an arrangement to help each other out throughout the summer.
3. Take the time to relax – and actually enjoy it
It is important to remember that, no matter how many items you check off your to-do list in a day, there will probably always be something else you feel like you could or should be doing. Trying to tackle too much can quickly lead to burnout and actually hurt your productivity in the long run. If you want to make the most of your time this summer, carve out time every week to actually relax and enjoy spending time with your family. You’ll be a better parent and employee for it.
Deb LaMere is Vice President of Employee Engagement at Ceridian.