How to manage working from home with kids
With a massive increase in employees working from home, is isn't always glamorous and people like parents may be facing unique challenges. Balancing children and work is not an easy task and requires you to juggle various responsibilities.
To make your remote work reality more functional, here are some of our top tips for parents working from home.
Focus on the positives
The situation comes with its own challenges, but we can find some advantages in working from home. Whether that's avoiding the daily commute, having more time with family, being home for dinner, or proximity to the fridge. It won't always be easy, but focusing on the positives can help you on the stressful days.
Adjust your schedule
Adults work much more efficiently and thrive on routines just as much as kids. Having a working from home routine helps you stay focused and avoid multitasking and constant interruptions.
To add more structure to your day, create a morning routine and be strict about it whenever possible. When you wake up, get up and prepare for the day as you would before going to the office. Then go to your home office, in whatever way this looks for you.
Optimise the rest of your day by adjusting your work schedule to allow for home life, whether this includes breaks to relax or taking over childcare.
Be upfront with your colleagues
Parents will no doubt take action to maintain their productivity but disruptions can still happen. For example, your kids will run into your office or throw a tantrum during a zoom call.
The worst thing you can do is pretend everything is fine, be upfront with your team about what working from home will look like for you and think about what requests you can make to make it easier and more productive.
Create a workspace
Assign one area of the house as your dedicated workspace to help limit distractions and focus on work without it being in your personal space. Ideally, this would be a separate room that you can turn into a home office. If that's not an option try and find a non-communal corner of your home to turn into your workspace.
Parents can also get their kids to help out by designing homemade office signs, with green for 'yes, you're allowed in' and red for 'don't even think about it'.
Schedule meetings wisely
You can try the 'do not disturb' sign when you are on calls but this isn't always reliable. If you have a young child who still has naps or attends nursery for half days then try and arrange your meetings and call during this period of time to limit interruptions.
Know when to switch off
Mastering the work-life balance has never been more difficult. being a parent, chances are you'll ned to account for some flexibility when it comes to creating a working schedule. It is important to set a time when you confidently say you've finished for the day.
Overall, don't expect yourself to balance everything effortlessly and effectively all the time. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to make your work-life easier but also be kind to yourself when things don't go to plan.