Getting a work-life balance when you run a family business

Running a family business can be demanding, but you can achieve that all-important work-life balance.

One of the most important aspects when running your own business is achieving a steady ‘work-life’ balance. This is incredibly difficult to achieve at the best of times but can be even harder when you are working with family.

It is vital that specific boundaries are put into place and are not blurred to ensure that business doesn’t intrude into family time. This can be challenging and in an ideal world, you would leave your business at the front door, but if you are living with your family members who are also your colleagues or co-owners, this can be tricky.

To help stress and to avoid feeling ‘burned out’ Wayne Rivers of the ‘Family Business Institute’ recommends that you focus on four different parts of your lifestyle which includes your physical self, your emotional self, your spiritual self and your family self.

Author Quentin Fleming of ‘Keep the Family Baggage Out of the Family Business’ says that ‘Working in a family business is a dangerous proposition both for the family and the business’.

Here are our top tips to help achieve that all-important ‘work-life balance’.

Schedule family time

Set specific hours on several days a week and during the weekend where you all commit not to talk about your family business. During this time, do not return business calls (unless urgent) check or respond to business emails and do not undertake any paperwork pertaining to the business. By carving out dedicated ‘family time’ in turn, your work time will become even more productive?

Don’t bring work issues home

If there has been an issue or conflict at work with a family member; leave it at work as any resentments can taint your home life which could lead to a crisis in both areas.

Relate to each other on other levels

It is important to keep your relationships well balanced and in perspective so that you remember that as well as co-owners or business partners, you are also husband and wife, brother and sister or parent and child.