Sharing space a balancing act

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Working from home.
Camera IconWorking from home. Credit: Mocka

For many dads, a typical day at work tends to mean less time for family.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many employees to work from home, flexible work is being put on the table for fathers as they prove working from home is just as viable as working in a traditional office environment.

Dorper Lamb general manager Dale Miles was told to work from home from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The husband and father now shares an office space with his three children, Rachel, 8, Ben, 10, and Josh, 12, who have been home schooled by his wife for the past four years.

“When we moved to Bunbury my wife and I decided she would home-school the children so I converted a part of my shed into a school environment and we now share that space,” Mr Miles said.

“I think if you are having to work from home, one of the ways to make it successful is having a dedicated work area.”

Mr Miles says routine played an important role in managing the working from home day-to-day lifestyle.

“We follow a structured daily routine which includes breakfast, recess, lunch and dinner,” he said.

“My family and I also have a clear line of understanding of when my work hours are and that I can’t be disturbed during that time and I think that is really important.”

Since working from home, Mr Miles says he has implemented family time into his daily work routine.

“I get up at around 5am and do a few hours of work so that I can sit down with my family and we can all have breakfast together,” he said.

“The day is quite structured, but I make sure I sit down with the kids during their recess and lunch breaks and spend some time with them.

“Having that structure and boundaries is really important.”

Mr Miles believes working from home has been a welcome move for many fathers who want to be more involved with their children but face challenges around the flexibility of their work.

“This pandemic has certainly highlighted the fact that we can be as productive in the home environment as we can be in the work environment,” he said.

“It has also given us full-time workers a chance to spend some time with our children.”

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