Many people join the gig economy with the expectation of flexible hours, control over their working life and limitless ambitions. Many people find that their hopes and dreams come true, while others experience a whole other set of demands and limitations they didn’t expect. If you’re a parent, these demands and heavy workloads can create an extra layer stress on top of other family commitments.
Get crucial support where it’s needed
Although you may have become self-employed for the benefits of flexibility, you may find that this is not always the case. As you are likely to be aware, being self-employed carries plenty of financial risks when it comes to cash flow security, so it’s likely that you’ll be taking up plenty of work when it’s offered to you. It’s for this reason that you should not be worried about needing a child-minder who is also flexible around your hours; in fact, this is strongly recommended for self-employed parents.
In terms of technical support, you will also sometimes need this. It’s all too easy to become reliant on your trusty laptop, and when it breaks feel as if your world is crumbling around you. Reaching out to IT support services for business that operate with small teams is a great way of finding assistance and support in times of need.
Create a separate office space
One benefit of being self-employed is the option to work from home whenever you like – depending on your chosen industry, of course. If you work from home, your work life and personal life can easily become intertwined, which is not good if you find your work life particularly stressful. Using just one room or part of your house for the office is a great way to keep your work time separate. In fact, if you have the funds to, renting a desk in a co-working space is ideal.
It’s not always possible to do this, however, if you have a family to think about. In this case, it’s advised that you focus mostly on productivity and rest when needed. It’s also advised that you scale back on meetings when they aren’t crucial and try and restrict the time needed for your conference call.
Turn off your phone in the evenings
Being self-employed means that time equals money, which also means that you might be fine-tuned to checking your phone for incoming work. Once your working day is done, it’s healthy for your mind-set as a parent to take time with your family without the need to constantly check your phone. Turning it off in the evenings means you won’t be glued to your phone screen, thereby reducing any guilt surrounding the issue of always being at work.
While being a self-employed parent may come with its own unique set of challenges, that doesn’t always mean the benefits aren’t worth it. Embrace the moments you do have true flexibility and be prepared to admit that you don’t always have it. Call up a babysitter if it’s needed and remember to occasionally switch your work brain off – as hard as that can sometimes be.