How do you keep it professional when your boss is your sister, husband, mum or aunt? It can be difficult. But there are great rewards to be reaped when you're trading strangers for loved ones in the office: it's simply about getting that home/work balance right.
A strain can be placed on the strongest of relationships when the line between work life and home life is crossed. But a family is, after all, a natural team. You trust them; they trust you; you know each other inside out; and when you're together there's a buzz, an energy — business ideas fly!
Here are some top tips from Workspace companies to help you get the most out of your family venture and quash any needless squabbles before they arise.
1) Don't ignore family dynamics
Every family has its ups and downs but the best way to stop them from interfering with business is to face them head on. Letting things sit and fester doesn't solve anything, especially when it runs the risk of encroaching on home life, too. Manage bubbling issues so they don't become a distraction and make sure that you have clear lines of communication at all times. Also, it's crucial to make decisions based on reason and rationality, not speculation and emotion.
2) Look for fresh perspectives
Have an independent board of directors. Outside advice can provide a fresh perspective and open up new ways of thinking, outside of the family bubble.
3) Keep the home-work divide
As with most things, there is a time and a place: business chat is not for the dinner table. Allowing the two to cross over can be damaging to work morale and mental health. Draw a line in the sand when you finish work for the day and make an effort to spend some quality 'you time' together outside of the office.
4) Stay fair
Pay, promotions, criticism and praise should be even-handed, regardless of a person's relationship to you. If you're working with other people outside of the family too, it is crucial that you avoid nepotism. Be sure to reward people on hard work and skills, rather than genetics. Favouritism inevitably leads to bitterness and dampened morale in the workplace.
5) Focus on individual strengths
Choose people's roles by talent, not a sense of obligation. Each member of the family can and should add particular value to the team.
6) Let each generation grow the business in its own way
Encourage each generation to discover its purpose and direction. Often younger generations will have an entirely different skillset to older generations, so harness these strengths and create an environment in which everyone feels supported and happy to develop a different facet of the company.
7) Enjoy it!
Most importantly, make sure you enjoy your family. Working with people close to you can be great fun, so make the most of it!
If you want to find a space for your business, we have 64 properties across the city for you to choose from. And even if your company isn’t family-run we can assure you you’ll be collaborating and benefiting from our co-working spaces in no time. Don’t believe us? Head to our Community section to hear from all the companies who call Workspace home.