According to data from a national survey, over half or 55 per cent of respondents in 2013 said their work demands ate into their family time more than they liked, up from 47 per cent in 2009.
Since there are many organisations in Singapore that allow employees to leave early from work, or carry forward their annual leave, or take additional days of well-being leave on top of their allocated annual leave, these feelings should not arise.
Long hours at work and the occasional (or frequent) business trips abroad may mean sacrificing family time and missing important family occasions, so we’ve compiled a list of tips on how we can stay connected with our children at work.
1. Schedule to have breakfast together
There’s no need for every one to head out to Macdonalds’ together to grab a Big Breakfast, simply having some toast together at home or choosing a cereal to eat together and then enjoy a conversation over it is good enough. It’s important breakfast time isn’t rushed and it’s important that this time you’re fully focused on your child and what he/she has to say.
2. If you have to travel, use the power of Facetime and/or Skype.
When overseas, Facetime/Skype/send a photo to each other of your different sunsets of the day, or different sunrises, or just any scenery that the two places might have in common. It’s a great way to show your child around the place you’re in.
3. Don’t overschedule
When you over-schedule, you don’t allow for any free time to be spent with your family or kids. Eventually, you’ll also be stressed out and upset, and you can’t enjoy the company and time of your family or children properly.
4. Schedule Time
In line with number 3, schedule time to spend together. It could be every third Friday of the month, or the last weekend of the month…. whatever works for you. But just as you aren’t overscheduling your work commitments, use the free time to schedule family activities in as well.
Enjoying family time even when busy at work can be a challenge especially when it comes to trying to match schedules and coming up with activities to continually rotate the fun, but it will be worth it in the end, when your children grow up and remember how you took the time to try so hard to spend time with them.
On the other hand, if you’re a (new!) stay at home mum, you might enjoy these tips instead.