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Angela Allan
Technology Journalist

Angela Allan is a music and lifestyle journalist with a special interest in technology and startup culture. Angela writes for Rolling Stone and the Star Weekly

Angela Allan
Technology Journalist

Angela Allan is a music and lifestyle journalist with a special interest in technology and startup culture. Angela writes for Rolling Stone and the Star Weekly

During school holidays, running a small business and managing your kids (along with staff) can seem like you’re going non-stop on a hamster wheel.

Pair of shoes and school bags.

1. Work Remotely

Deborah Miller, national director of Miss Universe Australia, had her first school holidays experience with her five-year-old daughter Sienna this year. And while running your own business can mean you have more flexibility to take days where you work remotely, having the technology to maintain a level of efficiency is important.

While working from home, Miller says her main lifelines are her computer and smartphone, so she can connect with her staff back in the Melbourne head office via email or phone calls.

“I use my smartphone a lot to access emails on the road, and keep in touch with my staff back in the office,” she says. “Sometimes, when you can work by yourself quietly away from the office, you can get more done.”

Ensuring you’re able to be connected when it counts is important, so ensure you choose a provider that gives you coverage in more places. Additionally, choosing a carrier with a strong mobile network, like the Telstra Mobile Network, can help you download files on the go and stay on top of the work coming in.

2. Oversee From The Cloud

Miller says she’s encouraged her staff to work independently while she’s out of the office, and keep her in the loop with what’s going on by calling, texting or emailing her. She believes this trust is vital for all small businesses in order for home and work lives to co-exist.

“When you show that you trust your staff, they feel respected by that and they work hard and you’ll get great results from them.”

And being out of the office doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice all control. For business owners that still need to have final say on documents, moving work into the cloud, using providers like Telstra Cloud Services, can give access to important documents from anywhere there’s internet access without compromising on security.

The small business solutions offered by Telstra provide data protection, specialised applications, as well as the scalability for when you’ll use cloud more or the business grows.

This allows you to still oversee the work your staff is autonomously working away on, while still being able to spend time with the kids. 

3. Research School Holiday Programs

But sometimes you’ll still need to head into the office, and when you do there are a number of options for professional care. Miller booked her daughter into a school holiday program part-time.

“There are holiday programs that are run by the same companies that do the before-school and after-school care programs. They have days like nature day, dress like a Disney character day, so it was educational as well as targeted at their age group and they have planned activities all day.”

“Being so busy running the business and having my daughter at home, it’s hard to be creative with baking or craft activities and spend an hour cleaning up, so that’s where the school holiday programs are really good to let her do that.”

For businesses looking to get into the office more regularly, enrolling your child for three days a week can strike a balance between taking care of business, and making the most of spending time with the kids.

DEBORAH’S TOP TIPS FOR SURVIVING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
  1. Be flexible. Being a business owner involves juggling many competing interests, so use that skill to ensure your time is spent on the things only you can do. Leave the rest to your capable staff!
  2. Turn to technology. Using tablets, mobiles and cloud services can help you stay productive while you’re not at the office.
  3. Find help when you need it. When you are needed at the office, school holiday programs can keep your child engaged 
Looking to get connected ahead of the school holidays?

Read more about Telstra cloud solutions here, or put your mobile on the network without equal here. You can also find other small business solutions here.

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