10 Tips for Parents working at home with children
Many people like working from home. You get to enjoy more time at home You can cut down on the commute, and you get to see much more of your family.
The flip side of the coin has its challenges, especially for parents who have to manage childcare and work difficulties in concentration; having to manage work while caring for their children (or homeschooling them) and blurred boundaries between work and private life; and children begging for your attention when you are not there.
Sometimes, you may feel like you haven't done enough or are a bad parent even on the simplest WFH (work at home) days. While it's possible to balance work and taking care of children, it's difficult. It requires some adjustment in terms of working styles and expectations.
These top tips are for parents working remotely.
Ten Tips for Parents Working at the comfort of their home with children
1. Look for positive aspects.
Some parents prefer to work at home, but some parents must adapt to changes in the unexpected.
While it does have some issues, this arrangement can offer certain advantages, including the possibility of avoiding the commute every day, spending more time with your family members, and be close to the fridge.
It won't always be simple however, keeping your eyes on positive aspects (and reminding yourself of what you're not doing at work) will help tremendously during difficult days.
2. Adjust your schedule.
Adults are just like kids who are awed by routine. We perform more efficiently when we follow a strategy.
A WFH routine helps us remain focused and avoid lulls in productivity caused due to multitasking, or endless interruptions.
If you want to add structure and predictability into your day, make a daily routine and stick to it. Wake up, prepare for your day like you would prior to going to work. Head to your home, however you see it and get ready for work.
Make the most of your day by making changes to your schedule in order to make time for your home life.
Flexibility is a must and develop an effective routine for your family and you. But remember, you can always modify it to meet the needs of your children on a daily basis.
We have shared this incredible tip in our collection remote work tips from our team:
3. Share your opinions with your colleagues.
There are a variety of things that parents can do to keep their children engaged when working remotely, however interruptions are bound to occur. You'll need to deal with emergencies at home, or your kids are likely to scurry into your office.
You can't pretend everything is fine. Work as you would do in a workplace setting, and make it clear that you don't need any assistance.
Tell your team upfront what working from home looks like for you. Think about what you can request to make it easier and more efficient. You might need to adjust your schedule or have more patience.
4. Optimize your workspace for focus.
It isn't necessary to be doing this every day. However, you can make a area in your home to be your work space.
This allows you to reduce distractions and keep work on track without it impacting your life.
Your mind will be able to inform you when you arrive at your workspace with a cup or coffee and dress in daytime clothes.
It is a good idea to designate a separate space within your home to make an office. But if this isn't possible then try finding a non-communal corner of your home to turn into your workspace. It is important to be able to agree with family members on the guidelines for when and how they can reach you.
Parents can ask children to create signs for their workplace. Green for "yes, you are allowed in" and red is for "don't even think about it."
5. Short bursts are the best.
It's harder for parents of toddlers and babies than most because they can't be left alone.
If you're responsible for childcare, your best option may be to work in short periods when you can, such as when the children are asleep.
If you're fortunate enough to focus on your job while your spouse is taking care of the kids at home, you may want to consider arranging your schedule so that you can both come out of the office and help occasionally, instead of staying inside for the entire the time.
6. Nurture creative activities.
Your child will not be content reading a book all day. If you're responsible in childcare, make sure your children are involved in creative activities.
The ability to rotate between various toys and different activities will help you concentrate and enjoy more. If your children aren't used to playing independently, you can try stimulating their imagination by turning the game into an activity in the sense of its own which encourages independent activities such as solving a puzzle or making something completely by hand using art materials, with a set time to demonstrate the results they've created.
If you're comfortable with your children having some screen time while you are making important calls or require concentration, Scholastic Learn at Home offers educational games that are digital. These games help children learn skills like music and spelling.
7. Plan your meetings well.
Nearly every parent working from home has had to deal with unfortunate situations.
While some interruptions are inevitable, and all you can do to have fun, you can prepare for them by giving your children an non-verbal "do not disturb" signal while you're conference calls.
It isn't always feasible for free-roaming toddlers. In such cases it is better to schedule calls in the time they are sleeping. Sometimes, it's enough to simply switch off or change the schedule of calls when you're in charge of childcare.
8. Make sure you have technology at your disposal.
The rise of cloud computing is precisely what's enabled the surge in remote working. Instead of needing to manually copy documents or sign in to user accounts employees now have access to all the data they need to perform their work online.
Collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, Trello project management software and web-based CRM (customer relation management) software make it simpler than ever before to work at home.
The right apps can make all the difference, whether it's creating your own Zoom video conferencing background or creating an tech stack that will make your life easier,
9. Be aware of when to turn off.
There is no better time to manage work and personal life today than right now. Although many people will be quick to highlight the advantages of working remotely, it's difficult to not feel at work all the time. It's crucial to know when it's time to turn off.
Being a parent, chances are you'll need to account for some flexibility when it comes to drawing up your daily schedule. It is important to know when your day ends. This is a task that requires a bit of self-control. It is also important to set the expectations of your employees.
10. Don't be hard on yourself. Get help.
If you're a parent struggling to balance work and caring for children, you deserve an award.
You might need to seek out your family's assistance, or hire someone to care for your children, or request your employer to allow flexibility in hours, and even more lenience during WFH.
In the end, don't think that you can do everything seamlessly and efficiently every single day. Look for the opportunities to make your work-life easier, but also be patient with yourself when things don't go according to plan. You can take some time off when things get difficult. Be sure to take care about yourself. This is a stressful time for many people, which is why it's crucial to pay attention to your personal health and wellness, and be aware of your limitations.