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Work Life Merge: Running Your Family Like a Business


We’ve all heard about bringing your work home with you, and have probably done it at some point. Even family-friendly workplaces that allow employees to bring their kids to work aren’t that uncommon anymore, like some of our winning organizations (see “Babies at Work”). But bringing home productivity tools and team development methods used at the office to run your household? Now that’s not something we hear everyday.

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal titled "Family Inc." describes how families are using productivity and teamwork solutions that are successful in the workplace and adapting them to their home lives. As an effort to improve work-life balance and family functioning, approaches such as agile development (described as “a system of group dynamics in which workers are organized into small teams, hold daily progress sessions and weekly reviews) can be effective for some families. But could it work for you?

One point discussed in the WSJ article is that agile development can be used to empower family members and help them feel included as part of the team (family). Children set their own goals, with help. This way all team members contribute and feel invested in the larger mission.

Another aspect that could help in successful application of agile development to home life is that flexibility is built in. It’s not all about schedules and rigidity – you set goals, you meet to discuss your progress and then adjust course accordingly. Dana Rousmaniere summarizes the main points of agile development in this Harvard Business Review post – "Morning Advantage: Take Your Work Solutions Home" and also points out that accountability (a central tenet of agile development) is key. Team members that feel accountable for not only their actions, but their team members as well will perform better and potentially be less stressed.

In a time when people, especially younger generations are stressed out about work and balancing their work and personal lives, streamlining your household can have positive effects that actually spill over into your work life, too. Personally I’m a proponent of taking whatever makes life (or work) run smoother and applying it to any aspect of your life if it fits well. If it fits. And then of course, adapting it until it really works for you.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clairegren / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jessica McKenzie, MS published on February 13, 2013 12:05 AM.

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