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Work, Life, and Family: Ideas for Balance in the New Age of Remote Work

Remote working is great. You gain control over your schedule and flexibility of income. It allows you to minimise social dealings and workplace stress and save time and money on transportation. And you can work directly from home, making an office by converting existing rooms or setting up DIY studio kits in your backyard. In capital cities like Melbourne, where the rental market is tight, a home-based office can net even greater savings in the long run. Working from home is especially attractive to parents as they can spend more time and give more attention to their children.

Remote working on the rise

Most industries today employ a flexible workforce to some extent. The opportunity to live and work at your own pace, while conserving time, money, energy, and social stress, is, of course, attractive to employees – but employers also find that it benefits their business by reducing overhead and increasing employee satisfaction.

About 1 in 3 Australians work remotely, whether in part or full time. This has given rise to the digital nomad lifestyle wherein the employee carries out most of their work in a public location with wifi and basic amenities and conveniences, such as a café or bar. Co-working spaces have also emerged as an option for those who miss some level of social interaction.

Still, especially in the capitals, office rents can be significant, and working out of cafes can incur unnecessary expenses. Having a home office eliminates the need to dress up and leave your house to get work done. It also offers the opportunity to prepare your meals, perform home-based workout routines, and live a healthy lifestyle. For parents, this can be the only option that truly satisfies the desire to balance their career and family time.

Balancing work and family

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Raising a child while still having a fulfilling career and making ends meet is a challenge for any parent in today’s world. The flexibility afforded by home-based work allows you to not only share more of your time with your kids but give them more of your focus. Breaks from work which would be spent in the office socialising with colleagues, or the hours before and after your shift, which is drained away in the daily commute, can be shared freely with your child. Not to mention that your increased presence in your child’s life can reduce if not completely eliminate further expenses on external childcare.

Establishing a secondary dwelling on your property is a great way to maintain some degree of separation between work and family while retaining all of the benefits of a home-based setup. With a granny flat or tiny house dedicated to your work, you can eliminate distractions and focus on productivity, then switch back to your home and family just by walking a few paces.

Benefits of time can be shared with others

This living setup may also allow you to bring in other members of the family. Grandparents, in particular, have always played a key role in traditional societies when it comes to raising the next generation. Multi-generational households facilitate sharing of responsibility, allow children to learn directly from older generations, and bring a renewed purpose into the lives of the elderly.

The remote working revolution clearly has something to offer for everyone. Businesses and employees, young entrepreneurs and freelancers, parents looking to balance work with settled family life, and even non-working family members themselves. Consider the various ways in which you could maximise the opportunities of working from home, and you’ll be able to really make the most of your time on your terms.

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