Many are the times we always find ourselves in a fix of how to balance our work and family issues. Both of these two elements are an integral part of our lives and nonetheless important. Work is necessary in our lives for us to provide for our families but not an excuse as to why we should alienate ourselves from our families. Many will concur with me that it takes more than dedication to effectively balance work and family and even more than will power to leave office work to be with family members and spend time with them.
Therefore, the process of balancing work and family is necessary for us to stipulate that time one should spend with family and also time that should be spent at work. Without much further ado, the paper describes a simple process that one can adhere to in order to balance work and family. However, every individual should have a unique process to ensure that work and family are balanced.
Through working we get to provide for our family needs but nonetheless work should not be an excuse as to why we lack time for our family and as to why we should overwork ourselves. Time management therefore should be a core concern when handling work and family issues for the two are intertwined with one another in that we work to provide our families with the basic needs and for our families to run smoothly.
However, it is paramount to note that different people have different ways of balancing work and family. Thus, if one family uses a particular process, it does not mean that the same process could be used by a different family. Balancing work and family is an every day business for all couples and an everyday concern for couples and which involves a lot of daily challenges (Sandra, 1991).
Process of Balancing Work and Family
The first step to balancing work and family (Guillaume & Pochic, 2009) is through realizing that work and family needs need to be integrated and that it takes more than making a simple decision to balance the two. When one realizes that the two are different concepts which do not balance naturally, one is in a better position to evade being frustrated by work to the extent that work issues affects family.
This will also help an individual in creating family values which can stand against the pressures of work and which are realistic enough to withstand the discrepancies that can be created by work. The desire and decision to balance between work and family will always help working parents and family members to always adhere to family values which will always come first before work (Guillaume & Pochic, 2009).
According to Business Networks for Women, (2010), the second step to balancing work and family is getting to know the available time that a couple can spare for their work and that which can be spent to be with their families. This can be done through parents evaluating their daily programs so as to know when to be with family and when to be at their work places.
After which, they can plan on how to go about balancing the available time between their families and work. After they have identified the time available, for both family and work, then parents would be able to plan activities that they can engage in together with their families and spend time with them.
Business Networks for Women, (2010), emphasizes that, this leads to the next plan of action when balancing work and family. Parents should also have a detailed plan on how to operate activities at home and at work.
This is because for one to have a successful day, one must start by having a good day which starts at home and therefore having good relationship with people at home will shape the activities for the rest of the day. As mentioned earlier, we work to provide basic needs to our family and to make life comfortable and therefore spending time with family members and integrating with them is also an important part of our activities and part of making our family happy.
The next step is by all family members setting their priorities right. Parents need to prioritize their families as much as they prioritize working, they should not give excuses of sacrificing their time with their family instead of spending much time at their places of work, because spending time with family also contributes to the productivity of a person towards his or her work.
In case the work load is more than a parent can handle and may involve a parent spending extra time at the office, the parent can carry some work home and work while giving their children attention for instance watching them while they play but this should be greatly avoided. This can be for instance an activity that can be done together with one’s spouse and the children as a recreational activity that used to generate fun (Business Networks for Women, 2010).
At the same time, working and non working family member’s sets priorities on how they are going to integrate their working schedule with their family, they should also devise ways through which the priorities are to integrate with their work schedules.
For instance, each family member should detail his or her plan on how he or she intends to integrate with their work schedules and discuss the plan with the rest of the members so that the plans can be in cohesion. I also believe that each family member needs to make other family members aware of what he or she has arranged or planned for the family.
For example, for a working mother, it would be wise to inform the children on which days she may play with them, so that when she comes home on those particular days the children can clear their homework early so that they can have time to spend with the mother. In simple terms, activities to be carried out within the family for the purposes of bonding and spending time with loved ones should be communicated effectively to all members who are involved (Gregory, & Milner, 2009).
With everything said and done, working family members cannot effectively balance between work and family without a detailed plan of action. A detailed plan of action will ensure that family issues are not procrastinated due to work load from the office. In addition, this detailed plan of action should be constantly revisited to eliminate instances where family members may have deviated from the original plan of action of balancing family and work.
On top of having a detailed plan of action (Gregory, & Milner, 2009), every working family member should systematize his or her work to be in consistent with the detailed plan of action.
This will also improve ones skill in time management because one has to create time for bonding with family in addition to avoiding confusion or indecisiveness that may arise during the time that one is expected to bond with family members. Just like the way we plan our activities in the office, planning activities to be done with family members should also be important and implemented in our timetables.
Finally, the last step to balancing work and family is through performing the duties that are supposed to be performed at the workplace in a timely manner in such a way that carrying work to home should be avoided at all costs.
This ensures that one does not perform his or her office duties in the house instead of the office and thus such time should be used to spend quality time with family members and bond with them. In the same spirit, one is supposed to leave home affairs at home so that they do not interfere with the working schedule in office. This helps individuals to clearly focus and be productive in the office and in turn clear their office duties and not carry them home (Business Networks for Women, 2010).
In as much as balancing work and family may be difficult and seem impossible, sticking to a particular method of how to balance work and family as detailed above saves time and procrastinating family issues. It also ensures that family issues are not overshadowed by work and vice versa. However, one should only stick to a plan that he or she is competent and comfortable with and the one that is clearly in coherence with both work and family activities (Gregory, & Milner, 2009).
Business Networks for Women. (2010). “Six ways to balance work and family life” Business Networks for Women is an online community for networking and which is privately owned by women. Woman owned. Web.
Gregory, A. & Milner, S. (2009). Editorial: Work – life Balance: A Matter of Choice? Gender, Work & Organization. Vol. 16, Issue 1, pp. 1 – 3. Web.
Guillaume, C. & Pochic, S. (2009). What would you sacrifice? Access to Top Management and the Work – life Balance. Gender, Work & Organization. Vol. 16, Issue 1, pp. 14 – 36. Web.
Sandra, K. (1991). Balancing Work and Family Life, ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Career and Vocational Education Columbus OH. ERIC Digest. No.110. Web.