The thought of working from home with your child probably sounds frightening, especially now that it has become a reality for many of us parents. As schools are closing, things are getting serious about social distancing and workplaces that are going remotely. The outbreak of the coronavirus is adding another twist to our lives now as many of us are becoming mandated to be at home for two weeks and limit our exposure to the outside world.
While you are attempting to keep up with the workload, juggling work calls, never-ending emails, and meeting deadlines, the kids are going to demand your attention around the clock. It’s going to feel like a circus is living in your home while being stuck at home, but don’t panic! There are some great ways you can navigate to getting your working done and still successfully parenting while everyone is home during the coronavirus outbreak.
Here are some smart ways to work from home with kids!
Create a Workday Routine
Setting up a workday routine will help keep you focused and on schedule. It’s a great idea to create a schedule that has a set time just like when you would be in the office. Setting a set worktime to start your workday at home is no different either.
If you like start your day with special drink like coffee or tea, then make a cup of coffee or tea at home too. Try to incorporate other familiar routines you do at work too. This will help you work consistently and keep you accountable to get your work done.
It’s also a good idea to speak to your supervisor about defining your work hours. How many hours per day should you log while working remotely? Your employers will likely be aware and understand the need for any non-traditional schedules if you are at home looking after kids too.
A set workday routine will also be great for school-aged kids. Depending on their school level your child might have online activities to complete, such as high schoolers. Be aware of your child’s own schooling during this time as well. It can help you set schooling hours along with your own working hours. If your child doesn’t have any current curriculums going on but want them to continue to keep their minds sharp check out these resources.
- Educational Companies Offering Free Subscriptions During School Closures
- Create a Daily Home Schedule While Kids Are Home During Coronavirus School Closures
Sperate Your Work and Parenting
It’s easy for your working and parentings roles to intertwine during this time. Learn to separate yourself from each of these roles otherwise you might start to feel overwhelmed and not fully able to concentrate to get your workload completed.
Set up an office area if possible. This work area will be a kid-free zone to help you detach from the rest of the house and commotion that is possibly going on. If you can’t have a sperate area to work, like an office you can close the door to, then try making a list of the things you need to complete the next day. Leave it at your workspace and walk away. When leaving the list and walking away this is when you should turn off your working role.
Planning for Interruptions
There is never going to be a perfect workday plan. You might be interrupted while trying to complete a project that is due that day or on an important conference call. The interruption might make you frustrated, but you can plan for this kind of situation.
Give your child a heads up when you need quiet time. Use something to signify to your kids that you are not allowed to make noise or be interrupted if you are on the phone unless it is an emergency. If you work in a room with a close door, you can always put up a sign that tells them to not disturb you. For younger kids, tie a ribbon on the door and explain to them what the ribbon means.
Unfortunately, for younger kids, such as a toddlers, you might not be able to do this. If your toddler is becoming fuss while you are on the phone, then ask to reschedule the call if you can.
Use Sleep Time to Your Advantage
While sleep is very important, it might be the only time you are able to get a few extra hours of work in before the kids are up. An earlier bedtime like 7 pm is the perfect time to put young children to bed. You can use those extra hours to do chores or get more work done. You might even consider using a video baby monitor in your office while your young children are sleeping to see if they are making noise in their sleep or are up.
Give Yourself a Break
Make sure you give yourself a break after some worktime. This will help you keep your focus optimal. Consider working for thirty minutes to an hour before taking a short break of five or ten minutes.
When it is lunch time, step away from your desk. Take a break and get away from your desk for thirty minutes to an hour in the middle of the day. This is a great time to connect with the kids and all have lunch together if you want!
Go With the Flow
Working from home might be a new uncharted place for you. You might find yourself stuck in situations you cannot fix. The internet connection might not work, the files you need aren’t accessible, and the important papers you needed are back at the office. When these things happen, it can be frustrating, but take a deep breath and stay calm. Figure out a solution to the problem.
Remember to try and have a good attitude and go with the flow.