October half-term is just around the corner, and with the kids home from school, it’s the perfect opportunity for some family days out or cosy days in. But if you have a business to run – and especially if you work from home – how can you balance the commitments of both work and family over half-term?
Fortunately, the Get Ahead VA team is here to help. Most of our Virtual Assistants and Regional Directors work from home, and they’ve got some great tips about keeping your business running during the school holidays – without missing out on quality family time!
Adapt your hours
Working from home gives you the flexibility to arrange your day how you like, and this comes in handy during the holidays, when you can change your working hours to fit around spending time with the kids. Isil tends to save her work for the evenings, after the kids have gone to bed, while Melanie takes the morning shift: “Mine are older now, but I used to work from 6am until midday, then do things with the boys in the afternoon.”
Have a clear plan
Fitting your normal workload into less time requires good organisational skills, but it can be done. Get Ahead VA’s founder, Rebecca Newenham, says, “I write out a diary and clearly plan in when I am working and what work I will be doing in that time, to be super focused.” She also recommends running through the schedule with the whole family, so everybody knows what’s going on.
Prepare your clients
If you’re going to be less available during the school holidays, you should let your clients know. Charlotte has this advice: “Guide your clients and be honest about what you’ll be able to get done. I’ve found that sending an email saying, ‘It’s half-term next week, so if you still want me to work, please let me know by this date,’ yields positive results.’”
Use your network
Now is a good time to draw upon your network – friends, family and other parents, who can help with childcare. Lucy says, “When mine were younger, I used to arrange things with other mums in the same situation, so they could go to friends’ houses or have friends over.” When her kids were little, Kristy would bring in a babysitter to keep them entertained; now she makes use of school holiday clubs, where her children can meet up with friends whose parents also have to work over half-term.
Enjoy your time
Of course, the most important part of half-term is being with your children. Kristy says, “It’s a rare opportunity to spend time with them, so make sure there’s a balance.” Lucy points out that showing your kids how you balance work and family can be a really positive thing: “It can be good for kids to see you working, and they may even see you as a good role model!”
So, if you’re feeling apprehensive about the upcoming half-term holidays, don’t worry. Melanie has some reassuring words for all the working parents out there: “I used to go into panic mode approaching a school holiday, but it always works out in the end!”
Do you need some extra help with your business during half-term? Get Ahead VA offers professional holiday cover, so you can leave the day-to-day running of your business in safe hands and take a well-earned break. We’d love to chat with you and find out exactly how we can help, so please give Get Ahead VA a call on 01483 332220 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.