The spread of Coronavirus has made working from home the new norm, but how do you work from home with kids?
This new working situation has turned a lot of things the wrong side up, and if you are struggling with work from home with kids, there’s no need to feel bad. Many are finding this new normal hard to deal with and staying productive or even just staying sane has become challenging.
Work from Home with Kids Is Not That Hard | Here’s What You Need to Know
If just the thought of a full workday with your child right there with you seems frightening, you aren’t alone. Kids demand constant attention, there is always some fire that needs putting out. But juggling this with work stress, approaching deadlines and conference calls or meetings can be overwhelming.
Unfortunately, work from home with kids has become a reality for many parents across the world. Employers across the globe have been encouraged to ask their workers to telecommute. And with the uncertainty of this pandemic, it is unclear how long this new normal will stay normal.
You may be asking yourself: “how can I work from home with kids?”
Before the work from home with kids’ “predicament” makes you pull out your hair or go completely nuts, we thought we would share our top tips to get through and make the most of this situation.
Why not also check out our blog post to learn 13 tips to facilitate being more productive at home.
Maintain a Routine but Ensure Flexibility When Looking to Work from Home with Kids!
Whether you consider what your life pre-pandemic was, or your kid’s lives routinely played a major role in both.
So why should routine be tossed out the window in the new normal?
Let us tell you, it should not. Routine is key to happy living, through a calm and healthy environment.
It is important to set clear “office” work. It is easy when working from home to let your office day and time at home integrate, and although this may work for some, it is not an ideal situation for many to be in.
Determine how many hours you want to be doing office work. Or if calculation of tasks rather than time works for you, create a to-do list, mark off what you need to complete on a specific day.
Creating a clear distinction between what is required of you in both roles is very important. As we mentioned set clear “office” work. Whether this is setting a strict schedule or not, create what works for you as a family.
But it is important to make sure that you give your full attention to your office work while you are doing it. This is important to allow you to be properly present with your kids and at home when you get the chance.
While you were working from a location separate from your home it was easy to switch your mind in and out of your work persona. You could very easily get up and out of your office to come home and leave work where it was.
This, however, is not easy when both your jobs have integrated into the same environment. Therefore, to allow you to properly focus on what is needed of you at hand try and segregate the two as much as possible.
It always helps to make a separate area in your house where you do office work. If you don’t have the space for a designated room, even just a sperate work desk or specified nook or corner will work.
This will not only help you get more done, but it will also help in allowing your kids to know that while you are at your workplace, this is when you need to be left alone and not interrupted unless it is an emergency.
This may not be so simple with younger kids. Therefore, make sure you keep their nap times or meal times into account. Use times, for example when they are taking a nap, to your full advantage. This is when you can get one or maybe two uninterrupted hours to get as much work done as possible.
Moreover, ensure you keep your employer or your team in the loop. These are unprecedented times, and everyone is going to be more accommodating.
Many are in the same boat as you, and everyone is aware that you cannot get the same help or resources as available in normal situations.
Manage Your Kid’s Schedule
Let your team members know about these moments in your timetable when you can get uninterrupted hours. Work with your kid’s schedule while creating your own. Nap times are the perfect time to take meetings and work calls.
Using your kid’s schedule to help create your own will not only benefit you and your family. It will also serve as beneficial to your team members.
They will get more done if they can get your undivided attention rather than if you were to keep getting interrupted. And therefore, we are sure they won’t mind rescheduling a meeting to when it suits you.
However, this being said, everyone is working from home, we all know this. If your kid or your partner or even your pet show up in the background of your meeting don’t stress out.
Give it a few days, it is bound to happen to the majority of your colleagues too if not all of them at some point or the other. We mean if it can happen to Robert Kelly on national television it can happen to you.
While you communicate with your work family about your schedule, ensure that if you have a working partner, they are kept in the loop too. Sit down together and create your schedules with each other in mind.
The trade-off on different house responsibilities and kid activities. This way you can both get quality time with your kids but also get a lot more office work done too.
Moreover, apart from just getting the adults on board, ensure you also involve the kids. Let them know beforehand what their day is going to look like.
The structure does well with child development. Knowing their day in advance will let them know what they have to look forward to, as we will discuss below. This in turn will make sure that they don’t get impatient with what they have going on in the present.
And lastly, but probably most importantly, be flexible and manage your expectations. It will only take an untimely tantrum or a diaper blowout to foil (pun intended) your whole schedule. Be prepared that these things can happen. Your schedule should not be etched in stone. Take a deep breath, reorganize, and carry on.
Read this blog:
Creative Entertainment is Key to a Sane Mind
This pandemic has not only got you out of sorts, but it is also a very confusing time for your kids. A lot in their lives has also changed and we need to make sure that we remember that.
Schools have been closed for quite a while now, your kids can also not socialize with their friends or partake in the same activities they used to. Moreover, even though their parents are home more than they are probably used to, the dynamics are different and this can all be confusing for a child, no matter what their age.
Therefore, it is important to keep this in mind and make an extra effort in how you choose to entertain them while your workday is going on. Not only will this give them something to look forward to, allowing them to more easily follow your schedule, it will also give you much needed quiet time to be productive with your work.
Kids are little balls of energy and need a fun-packed day to keep them occupied, so as not to get them into trouble, and to give you some space and room to get things done.
The key is using your knowledge about your kids to come up with the perfect activities that will be able to sustain their interest for long enough, without them begging for your attention again.
Moreover, make sure that you give them a little quality time. Giving them a little quality time will later give you a couple of hours to work. This is true for kids of all ages. It is only natural that they crave your attention. And if they don’t get any, they are more likely to act out and get into trouble that will only take up more of your time.
With working from home with kids, you are not getting that downtime that you would have usually. So, make sure that you as a family take some time out and spend it together.
Furthermore, it’s okay to bend the rules just a little. If you are against screen time, it won’t be the end of the world if you allow your kids to watch a movie on a day you need that hour to yourself, when the house chores and office deadlines are creeping in.
Maybe find a compromise and choose a movie that has a good message they can take away from it.
It is always a good idea to keep some cool toys or special movie viewing to whip out on days when you need to get them entertaining themselves so you can get things done.
And as for the family fun, try getting out some boardgames like:
- Guess who.
Other activities that may do the trick can include:
- Cooking together
- Having a tea party
- Having a fancy-dress party
- Building a fort
- Doing a jigsaw puzzle
- Doing some arts and crafts projects.
Things are stressful enough, and the current situation is not a regular occurrence.
So, if you find yourself allowing your kids’ screen time or giving them a few more snacks than usual just to get through the day, it’s okay! Using these ‘coping mechanisms’ is not the end of the world. Just make it clear that they are only for this special time.
Give yourself a break and don’t feel guilty for however it is you choose to juggle working from home with kids. You need to ensure you have a positive attitude to be able to manage your office work and your family.
Check out this productivity killer:
Work from Home with Kids Is Fun | You’ve Got This!
No matter how you are managing, just know you’re doing great.
There are bound to be days when you feel like you are failing as a teammate, an employee, a parent, or a partner. It’s okay!
Take a breather, get back in the zone. Make sure you allow yourself those errors and off days when things aren’t going right.
Moreover, it’s okay to ask for help. If you need it and if you can, seek help whenever. Whether that be turning to your partner for a little extra support or asking your boss for a few hours off on a particular day to have a stay-at-home vacation.
Keep these tips for working from home with kids in mind, do your best, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep a positive mindset and enjoy this time. Although working from home with kids can be tough, enjoy it. This time is special.