Tips to balance personal and professional realms from our full-time parents AKA super agents!
Working at home can seem like a dream to parents who struggle on a regular basis to balance their professional and personal responsibilities. It may feel like a whole new world but you don’t necessarily have to reinvent activities and schedules for your family during your working hours. Losing the commute and working within the comfort of your home is one of the solutions to working life’s inevitable chaos. While some relish the idea of working and living under the same roof others may find that they need more separation between their professional and personal realms. Our agents at VOIZ are from both categories. Some of them thrive when the things they care about are in the same place as they are and others have learnt to manage everything in one place and still enjoy it!
Take it from our super-agents who have been with us for over a year, Aryan and Shakthi, who are married with four kids- Siddiq, Nrithya, and twins Abhay and Arik. According to the couple, there are three steps that helped them to navigate their way through working from home and managing their personal life- all under the same roof. They identified their old family routine and decided which to keep as similarly as possible and created work schedules that allowed the two of them to get as much done as possible around those routines and swap in new ways of doing old things. Before the Pandemic hit, Aryan was working as a sales development representative for a corporate giant while his wife, Sakthi was a biology teacher working in the same school as all her little ones.
According to Zapier, 65% of people claim that they are more productive when working from home. The latest survey from Valoir, a tech workplace advisory firm reveals that the shift to remote working in spite of having children around has resulted in only a 1% drop in productivity. Our agents Aryan and Sakthi fit the aforementioned survey bracket as they found that working remotely has enabled them to stay closer together as a family while also being an active part of their kids’ school life. Before the pandemic, they were used to managing the usual challenges of dual working parents coordinating childcare with school and extracurricular activities, managing household chores and meals and spending time together on the weekends. Things became chaotic and all the more problematic with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in Aryan working for more hours from home but with a massive pay cut to accompany that. The school where the kids went to and where Sakthi used to teach also closed soon after for six weeks.
Sakthi quit her position from being a full-time teacher to becoming a full-time homeschooling teacher for her youngest kids Nrithya aged 5 and the twins aged 3 because she didn’t like the idea of her children having to learn the foundation of education from laptops or tabs. Ever since quitting her job and switching school culture for her youngest kids, both Aryan and Sakthi were trying to juggle full-time childcare for all their kids and working from home in Aryan’s case while also trying to preserve as much productivity as he possibly could. For the first few weeks, they approached the situation like a holiday or a vacation with little to no structure around duties or schedules. This quickly turned into a nightmare for everyone as work wasn’t getting done while Siddiq the oldest of the four aged 7 was struggling to focus on school work and Sakthi struggled to keep her kids entertained while also having to take care of the household chores. Regular activities like cleaning and cooking kept piling up along with the couples’ frustration of having to manage the kids and running a household on a single person’s salary and a reduced one at that. That combined with the fact that they were stuck in a closed space made it all the more difficult for everyone in the household.
After a month of this, Aryan discovered VOIZ through his younger brother who was working as a CX talent in the customer support (CS) process. Having zero experience in customer experience or working in a contact centre, Aryan decided to quit his overworked and underpaid job for VOIZ’s flexible and remote CX jobs. Aryan learnt through his brother that VOIZ is a remote CX marketplace that helps verified and reputed companies to hire CX agents and helps agents to find flexible employment opportunities. Aryan got a telemarketing job and chose to work four hours in the morning and four hours in the night while helping out with his wife and kids during the time in-between. Aryan commented saying,
“Discovering VOIZ was like discovering a newfound type of freedom. From being what I actually was which was a corporate slave to now being in a position of working on my own terms makes the last ten years of slogging absolutely worth it. What’s more? I’m able to spend more time with my wife and my kids get to see me more and know me better. My daughter said that she liked this relaxed version of papa over the tensed and stressed out version she was seeing for the initial month of working from home while I was with my previous company and for my daughter to say something like that, I only have VOIZ to thank for.”
Three months after Aryan joined, Sakthi took the plunge and started applying for the customer service jobs at VOIZ. She chose the 12.00 pm to 4.00 pm evening shift when her kids were either napping or playing with their neighbours and during that time slot, Aryan was free too! After 3 months of working with us, Sakthi commented saying that
“VOIZ taught us to reinvent new ways to preserve old routines. With no one to help us, the time of the pandemic was a time of upheaval for us but finding space with VOIZ has helped Aryan and me to maintain a sense of consistency and familiarity that helped us heal from the loss of our jobs and has brought comfort and peace to us in these harsh times.”
We asked the couple how they are now balancing professional and personal life and they have imparted a few tips and things which we would like to share with all the working parents trying to strike a balance between the perfect work-life and personal life.
Aryan stresses the importance of creating flexible routines and maintaining them
In the Harvard Business Review, Avni Patel Thompson states that “beyond the benefits of familiarity, maintaining a regular schedule will give you firm guideposts for building your work and childcare schedules.” By having set timings for meals, bedtimes, play etc, you will identify when you are most productive thereby avoiding any sort of disruption to you and your family’s ultradian and circadian rhythms. Aryan says that VOIZ’s flexible workdays and timeslots with no extensions or work delays make it easier to stick to consistent routines which help in reducing stress and encourage family bonding making it easy to plan and manage time. This results in family harmony coupled with consistency and productivity. Aryan further goes on to say,
“We eat our dinner in peace every day at 7.00 pm knowing that I won’t get a call at 6.45 pm which was something that happened regularly at my previous workplace.”
Sakthi advises experimenting with time blocks
Working from home as a full-time parent is not an easy task. Therefore Sakthi recommends working in time blocks which basically means timely management of deadlines, childcare and other priorities. In Sakthi’s case, she works a four-hour shift during which time her partner is watching the kids. Since VOIZ does not have any form of after-work work, once her designated four hours are done she can go back to being ‘mum’ after her time slot. Sakthi comments saying,
“VOIZ gives me the freedom to finish my household chores and teach my kids during the AM and the moment I need my break from them I can turn to be VOIZ’s agent for four solid hours in the evening with absolutely no fear of any after-work work. The organization is so systematic and correct in terms of its functioning it’s almost awe-inspiring.”
Aryan insists on setting up an office space that suits your work needs
With VOIZ’s limited hardware requirements, Aryan insists that having a dedicated spot to call your workspace can really help with getting into the work zone and will also make your kids more aware of what you are doing and that you shouldn’t be disturbed. Most of our agents work with a laptop, desktop or smartphone but moving from the bed or couch to a desk can help in staying focused and largely improves your posture. Aryan says,
“We have two workstations at home. I like to work in the living room as I get a full view of the family and also because I thrive on interaction and activity. Sakthi works from her phone and likes to work in silence and requires it to be really quiet as she deals with customer support. Therefore we’ve squeezed a desk into the bedroom to activate this environment.”
Sakthi and Aryan have completed a lot of projects in the time that they have been with VOIZ. They continue to inspire us with their performance and their family management and we hope their story has managed to make an impact on you as well. Aryan reached out to us the other day to tell us that his oldest son mentioned wanting to grow up and work with VOIZ just like his papa. If you are inspired by this family and are on the lookout to find a working environment that helps to balance out your professional life and your personal life, then sign up with VOIZ now to become an agent- working on your own terms!