Richard Branson, creator of the Virgin media empire, is well known for taking risks and living his life to the fullest.
This approach to entrepreneurship has paid off well for Branson, as he is well known as one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the modern age. While speaking to Poppy Harlow on CNN’s “Boss Files” podcast, Branson offered up a bit of advice to parents based on his own experience in the business world: Work from home if possible.
Speaking from Experience
This may seem like strange advice coming from someone who’s best known in some circles for his escapades around the world. It’s advice that he lived through his years as an up-and-coming entrepreneur, however. To ensure that he spent sufficient time with his children, Branson worked from home as much as possible while his kids were growing up.
“I lived in a houseboat when my kids were young,” Branson said. “I was building Virgin. They were fooling around. I changed a nappy and I’d be on the phone. So I suspect I’ll see more of my kids and family than almost any father.”
Branson also revealed that he encourages his employees to work remotely when at all possible.
Working from Home
It may seem like a fantasy to work from home, but more and more workers are doing it every year.
VoIP phone services, video conferencing and a wide range of software options make it easy for workers to connect back to the home office without having to report in person. Even those who have to be onsite periodically for crucial tasks are often able to work remotely at least part of the time.
There are a number of advantages to working from home or from other remote locations. Not only do remote workers get to spend more time with their families, but they also spend more time doing quality work because they have greater control over their working environment. Gone are long commutes and the gas that’s associated with them; this leaves more time for work and play, plus more money at the end of the month that can go toward other things.
Even better, employees who work from home tend to be more productive and more focused on their work than those who report in at the office every day. They’re even less likely to take sick days, since it’s a lot easier to work from home when you don’t feel well than it is to drive in to the office and put in a full day’s work.
Work Is Still Work
There are a lot of benefits that come from working at home, but it’s important to remember that you still have a job to do. Working remotely does wonders for your work-life balance, but some people lose track of the “work” part while trying to maximize the “life.” This is especially important for parents who work at home to be more involved in a child’s life.
This is where Branson’s example comes in handy, since he admittedly had to switch back and forth between work tasks and family tasks often while working from home. Structure your schedule in such a way that you can take care of your work responsibilities in between family times, instead of trying to shove all of your work to one specific point during the day. Keep your balance intact, both by making sure that you have plenty of time to work and by keeping work from creeping in to the time you want to be with your family.
If you can work from home, it can be one of the best ways to maximize your family time without jeopardizing your paycheck. It may take some getting used to, but once you’ve found that perfect balance then you might just find that it’s the best thing you’ve ever done for your family. After all, Richard Branson recommended it.