One of the best things about your home business is that you can work from home but one of the drawbacks is also that you work from home. The problem is establishing workable boundaries that allow both to be run without interfering with each other. You need to be able to separate the two while they co-exist under the same roof. Here are some ways to help you keep your home and your home business running smoothly alongside each other without interference.
The first thing you need to do is establish boundaries. Decide on where the home office space is and find a way to help mark those boundaries. Ideally, you will have a whole room that you can close the door on but in reality, many home businesses start with just a small desk in the corner and grow from there. So decide what will be considered office space and make sure that all family members know the physical boundaries and respect them.
The next boundaries that you need to establish are the boundaries that relate to you as you work. You may wish to set dedicated work times so that the family knows when you are not to be disturbed. Ideally, you would have a door to close but you can also put up a small sign or reminder that you can not be disturbed at this time. But you need to also establish times when you devote your time to you family only. This will help to let your family know that they are important and will help them from feeling neglected when you do have to focus solely on work.
Draw up a set of rules about your home office for your family members. Present them in a loving manner and explain to family members why they are important. You will need to let them know that the things that are your desk in and in your office are off limits. It is not OK for them to come and take the supplies from your desk to use for homework or anything else. You need to have your supplies there for when you need them. Otherwise, the family will see your desk and office as a never ending source of paper, staplers and office supplies.
Have a talk with your children about business etiquette. They need to know that if you ask them to be quiet while you make a phone call, then they need to respect that and be quiet. You may run into customers while you are out in public with your family and your children need to understand that if you are talking business then they are not to interrupt or misbehave. In public, your family will be a refection of your business and they need to understand this.
As you can see, there are boundaries and rules that you need to establish from the beginning. This will allow you to get your work done and have a harmonious co-existence between your home life and home business. Setting down the boundaries in a loving manner so that everyone understands them and respects them will help you as you transition into running your own home business. This will also help your family feel as though they are helping you and are an important part of your business.