Working From Home With Kids: Tips To Balance Being a Remote-Working Parent
Being productive away from the office is a challenge to many, but nobody struggles to get through their task list like a parent working from home with kids. As you prioritize responsibilities and try to focus while your children beg for your time, it can feel like an obstacle course just getting to the end of the day.
If this is you, you are not alone. Many parents around the world are searching “how can I work from home with kids.” That’s why we’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help you get through your new workday.
How COVID Changed The Work Environment
As Covid-19 cases climbed, companies were forced to close their premises and transition to remote work. Boardrooms moved online to platforms like Zoom. Other virtual tools, like Slack, suddenly became vital for team productivity and collaboration. However, most people did not anticipate the complete adjustment required by remote work—for individuals and companies alike.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reflected that there has been “two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months” as we move into a world of “remote everything.” This was proven true by The Conference Board’s survey which found that over one-third (35%) of companies in the US were not sure when they would reopen in 2021, regardless of whether a vaccine becomes available.
For many, learning how to work from home with kids is not just a temporary fix, but a long-term plan.
Tips For Working From Home With Children
- Have A Schedule
You can’t stick to a plan if you don’t have one. So before you try to navigate how to work with kids, you must have a plan in place that lays out all you want to achieve in your day. Setting aside dedicated “office hours” enables you to have a routine for both you and your kids. Your family will eventually get used to your new routine, making things much easier with time.
You might have a million things to get through, but let’s be honest: being home with kids is going to eat into your work day. Prioritizing your tasks ensures your most important tasks get done, while you can delegate or delay other duties to lessen your mental load.
- Set Up A Workstation
A proper work station with all the home office necessities helps you to maintain your focus, establish a sense of normalcy, and most importantly, separates you from the chaotic world that is a household with children.
- Establish Boundaries
If the funny videos of children interrupting their parents during a video call tell us anything, you know the importance of setting boundaries with your children. Boundaries are a vital part of learning how to work when you have kids. Keep it simple with your children: clearly outline when it’s okay to interrupt you, how to ask for attention, and how to recognize when they should not disturb you. Remember, it’s a learning process, so be direct with both yourself and your children.
- Be Upfront With Your Employer
You can save a lot of headaches in the long run by letting your employer know your home situation. Not only will they expect the unexpected, but they may also be a little more patient with deadlines and schedules.
- Don't Be Rigid
Speaking of patience, practice some on yourself, too. You can’t get everything you set out to do finished before 5 pm? That’s okay! Find some time in the evening to make up for it, or reschedule it to a more productive time.
- Share Your Schedule With Your Partner
Communicate with your spouse on what to expect from you during the day and week. This helps you set out the best plan of action for both of your schedules. For example, you might not be able to fit in that appointment, but you can watch the kids while your other half gets something on their schedule done.
- Let Your Kids Be
Believe it or not, your children will be just fine if you don’t watch them every minute of the day.. Give your children the freedom to cultivate independence and responsibility; micromanaging only leads to more dependence (and less time for your activities.)
- One Thing At A Time
Multitasking is the thief of time and effectiveness. Stick to your schedule by doing what you set out to do, mindfully. If it is time to hang out with your kids, be present, and avoid looking at your email or performing other chores. The same goes for work time.
- Take Little Breaks
Many studies have proven that working in bursts can help boost productivity. In this case, it also allows you to do little things like checking on your kids or solving whatever crisis may arise.
Working From Home With Toddlers
Toddlers have unlimited energy, can be extremely needy, and sometimes, are a wee bit inconsiderate. But can you work from home and look after a child of this age? Here are a few pointers on how to do it right.
- Use Nap Time
Establish clear nap times for your children and take advantage of these moments of peace to get some work done.
- Start Your Day Early
Wake up at least two hours before your child to get some extended calm-before-the-storm time. Use these hours to get your most important tasks done. If they are early risers, do the opposite: put your kid to bed early and use the quiet hours at the end of the day.
- Maintain Structure
Your child is more likely to respect your boundaries if you structure out your days and stick to it.
- Keep Your Children Entertained
Set out things for your child to do that will capture their attention for long periods. Yes, this includes allowing a little extra screen time.
- Seek Extra Help
Working from home with kids can be stressful and incredibly draining, so don’t deny yourself some extra helping hands if you can. You could hire a nanny or find a willing family member.
Set Up A Workstation With Versare
Don’t have a room you can escape to for work? Versare room dividers are what you need. From cubicle walls to acoustic panels, see how we help people like you set up their home offices efficiently and affordably.