Our day to day lives have changed in an instant and many of us are now working from home. Working from home does not seem so bad right? With those of us with kids at home because schools are out, it can be more of a challenge. Today we will go over 6 helpful tips to working from home with our kids aka our new colleagues.
1. Be Patient
Adding the addition of kids to your work day can be a lot. However, when you work from your home, you have more control over your stress level and can more easily walk away or take a break when work gets particularly crazy. Even when the disruptions of your kids are becoming stressful, that would be a great time to just walk away from your work for a few minutes and spend some time with them.
2. Carve out time to spend with them
With the kids at home and you still having to work, it can get a bit challenging. Carving out time to spend with them throughout the day can benefit both you and them. In an effort to boost our immunity and even stay sane and stress free, it is good to get outside everyday. Even if it is only for a short time. Allowing children to get outside whether its to play, explore, throw a ball around, go the park etc, will help them appreciate the outdoors and will help lower your stress level from everything going on. It is good to take breaks throughout the day to spend time with them, so that they hopefully wont interrupt you when you need time to work for an hour or two.
3. Plan accordingly
Everyday will not be the same and it also will not go smoothly. That is okay! It is best to plan out your day the night before, so that you can prepare for the day ahead. In this plan, you can plan to get up early before your child to either get early work done or an hour or two to yourself before the day starts.
You can also try to create some sort of block schedule if possible. Set them up with tasks to do while you work and use nap time to your full advantage. Things will not always go as planned, but it is better to have a plan in place than not at all. You can also use this time to schedule your lunch time and any outside time you plan to have with your kid(s). If you have someone at home with you, talk with them and incorporate them in the plan as well.
4. Be Flexible
Being flexible is super important because as we all know, things do not always go as planned. During this time of sheltering in our homes, there is not much room for friends or family to come over. We must be flexible with our work and use our time wisely. If you have someone at home with a bit of a more flexible work schedule, use that to your advantage. Try asking if you can get maybe an hour or two of work done while they watch the kids and then you switch off. If that situation does not apply to you and you either both work the same schedule or you are the only parent at home then this is where your planned day can really come in handy.
5. Have a designated work space for you and them
It is always good to have a designated work space when working from home. It allows you to be more productive instead of being distracted by many things in your home such as noise from the kids running around playing. Most parents who are now working from home need a distraction free home office space to prevent interruptions. Maybe you don’t have an extra room to make your home office. You can easily find a seat at the table or kitchen counter, set your kid(s) up with an activity and get to work.
If you are the primary caregiver, you will have to take breaks throughout the day to spend time with your kids. If you have help at home, you and your spouse should talk about how to best support each other during this time in order to both get work done.
You can also set up a space in your home “office” for them to work as well. Kids, especially the younger ones like being able to see you. If you set up their space with things like crayons, pencils, paper, hole punches, tape, envelopes, markers, and stickers, you will be able to have them busy for a little bit while you get work done.
Working from home is already hard yet easier for some. Adding on children to that equation can make it harder on most. Take this time to breathe and trust that everything will be okay. Take it one step and one day at a time. It wont be perfect and some days will be better than others. At the end of the day, make sure you are winding down and taking care of you. Stress builds up and we all know stress is no good on the body, especially now.
This list will most likely not be a definite fix while working at home, but it is a start. You may find that you have to come up with additional strategies. You might also have to tweak your daily work from home routine to better fit your families needs. Your needs may change from day to day and that is okay. This is why it’s important to be flexible and go with the flow while working from home with your kid(s). As long as you use what works and get rid of what does not you should be okay. Remember to have patience for yourself and as a family and you will find what works best for you.