Family Business

How Do You Establish Boundaries Between Work and Family Time?


2 min




Scott Carr talks about differentiating work time and business time, and how to set up parameters for each.


Scott Carr



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How do I establish boundaries between work and family time? I think there’s really two key components to that. Family time and business time. And what I mean by that is really understanding when family time is happening and when business time is happening, and having rules for each. So when it comes to family time, I think it’s like any relationship, you have to develop interests beyond one particular thing, so talk about something other than the family business, do activities together, whether it be a sport, you know, go watch a show together, do something and talk about it. You don’t need to sit there all day and talk about the family business because, if ever the family business is going badly, if that’s all you ever talk about, it can put a serious strain on the actual family relationship. And on the flip side, when you’re talking ... View More actual business, it’s important to stay focused a lot of times, and set up, you know, parameters that allow you to stay focused. Whether that be a speakers list in meetings that allow people not to be cut off, because they feel too informal, there’s really those formal boundaries that need to go up, that’s what’s going to let you have respect for each other, almost more so than a regular colleague. It’s easy in the business side, I guess, well easy to a certain extent, understand who in your family is a really great mediator. Mediators in families are really essential to solving any problem, whether family or business oriented, but particularly it will allow your meetings to go much smoother, better decisions to be made, and it will cut out a lot of the issues of passive aggressiveness, you know, the mediator can say hey, you know, I think your tone is a little off, and their very neutral towards everyone, and if you don’t have that in the family, I think it’s finding a person outside of the family that can do that for you. And on the flip side, family time, I think it’s all about monitoring each other. There’s not necessarily one person in charge. I think it’s really going to be about, if someone starts talking about the business, be like, hey, let’s switch the topic to this, or let’s go do this. It’s about making sure that someone, to a certain extent, takes the responsibility of saying something when something isn’t going the way it should.