Many have considered working from home in the past, especially parents. When it comes to children, parents want to be with them as much as possible, and working from home allows that. However, before Covid-19, it was not as widely accepted. The global pandemic changed everything, offering parents a golden opportunity.
Not only have many businesses shifted to allowing employees to work from home, but there is a massive increase in employees who want to work remotely. But as glamorous as doing everything from the comfort of your own home is, there are some unique challenges. In fact, there are even more challenges for parents.
Balancing childcare and work is no easy task. It requires one to juggle various responsibilities, with each distracting from the other. Moreover, young children are not able to understand the change, meaning they want undivided attention. But there are ways to make it easier, which will be discussed in the article below.
Tips for Working From Home With Kids
Working from home can be difficult, but it is not something you cannot overcome. In this new environment of remote work, there is flexibility, and as long as you prepare and remain open, there is no cause for concern. One thing you should do from the start is to reach out to your superiors and discuss your concerns in advance.
Discuss Concerns In Advance
Balancing your work and personal life can be a difficult task under any circumstances. Adding children into the mix only makes things more difficult. That is especially true if you are transitioning to remote work. You might deal with a number of problems, such as your child getting sick or a household emergency.
In these cases, it is important to know where you can find more flexibility. Speaking to a manager or supervisor early can help reduce the stress of a sudden problem. Chances are, people will understand. Plus, there is more flexibility with many jobs done from home, allowing you to adjust your schedule within reason.
Set Up Private Office Space
One of the biggest mistakes people make when working from home is doing their work in a common area. Although working from home is usually more comfortable than working in an office, a private space is still necessary. It establishes boundaries and provides a barrier between your work and personal life.
Of course, you can simply select a pre-existing area, but if you have the space and budget, try to devote a room to it. You will find it easier to focus, and it will be easier to explain to your children that you are working when you are in your office area.
Establish a Routine
Routines are vital for working from home. When it comes to remote work, self-discipline is key, and routines help. Moreover, a proper routine will boost productivity. Moreover, a routine is not solely meant for work activities. You also need a routine that fits your personal responsibilities for your children.
A good place to start is with what you would do at the office. Consider your daily tasks and set aside enough time to finish them. Once those are planned out, start inserting other responsibilities to allocate plenty of time to your family. Your children appreciate the time, and you can use it as a way to step away and catch your breath from work.
Consider Taking Shifts
If there are multiple parents or family members capable of pitching in, consider taking shifts. You can discuss it with other caretakers and plan your schedules to ensure someone will always be with your child. That will allow for plenty of quality time and enough time to work.
Explore the Flexibility of Your Schedule
As mentioned before, flexibility is more common when working remotely. There are usually fewer time constraints involved, and you can work from almost anywhere. Therefore, you should adjust any schedule you build depending on the flexibility offered to you. Some things you might want to consider if you have flexibility are:
- The schedule of your children
- When school lets out
- Any mandatory work conferences or client calls
- Chores and personal responsibilities
- Meals for you and your children
There are many tools out there that can help you keep track of things. Moreover, it all goes together with your routine. You want to find the time for every part of your day, especially when it comes to taking care of your children.
While it might seem obvious, you should take regular breaks. The breaks are not only from work, either. Both parenting and work are difficult jobs, so finding time to catch your breath is important. In fact, this is even more important when working from home. After all, it can become overwhelming when you face work and parenting back-to-back.
Breaks are proven to increase performance, reducing burnout while improving productivity. You can also use breaks from work to check in on your family. One great method you can use is called the Pomodoro Method, which advocates 25 minutes of work with a five-minute break.
Another great tool when working at home is a set of headphones. Headphones improve sound quality, which is incredibly important for work calls. They also allow you to cancel out noise and reduce distractions to a minimum. You will be able to focus better, so there is no reason not to pick up a great set for your remote-work journey.
Much in the same vein as breaks, self-care is highly important. Working from home makes it easy to ignore routine or what is good for you. Some examples of what you might end up doing when working from home include:
- Skipping or delaying meals
- Working additional hours and ignoring other responsibilities
- Not taking care of your morning hygiene routine before starting to work
It is important that you practice proper self-care routines. Make sure to eat on time, and do your best to only work the number of hours that makes sense. You should also keep proper routines before and after work, including hygiene and exercise.
Keeping Your Kids Busy
There is no doubt that one of the biggest challenges parents face is keeping their children busy. Children want attention, which can be a difficult thing to give them, especially when work is thrown into the mix. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep them busy and make balancing work and family easier.
- Enlist their help with chores. If your children are old enough, have them help with some of the household chores. Not only will that take some of the responsibility off of your shoulders, but it can be a great way to keep them busy. Plus, some rewards can be given for their efforts.
- Promote creativity. Arts and crafts are perhaps the best way to distract children. Things like papercraft, clay modeling, painting, drawing, beadwork, origami, and sewing are great examples. It can even be a great way to spend time with them during your breaks.
- Gym equipment. It is easy to install home gym equipment or playsets for kids from sites like fitnesskid.com. You can then encourage them to play and exercise, which is just as important for them as it is for you. It is especially important now that many things take place indoors. Therefore, combine a distraction with a healthy activity.
- Go for nature walks. Get out and do something with them to break up the monotony. Nature walks are a great way to do that, getting fresh air and exercise. You can go to a local park or simply into the backyard. The beauty of nature is a wonderful thing, and it is worth sharing with your children.
- Books. A few good books can fill the gaps and give children something to do. Moreover, they are great for any age. For very young children, you can read to them. For children past that age, they can pick up something that fits their interests and get lost in a great story.
There are many other ways to keep kids busy. It all depends on your flexibility and what they are interested in. Therefore, when you are considering how to provide a distraction, consider what they like to do and go from there.
Working from home is difficult, especially with children. But there are plenty of things that make it worth pursuing, such as the lack of commute. However, what really makes remote work worth it for parents is the extra time to devote to their children. So, do not fear remote work, even if you have kids. Just keep the above in mind and make a plan.