Our Top Tips On Working From Home – With Children!
There are many articles online with top tips on how to remain productive while working remotely. All contain valid and useful information and I would highly recommend perusing through some of these, especially if you are not used to working from home. There are few that address the challenging situation of working from home with children.
Recently it has become necessary for many of us to work remotely while our children remain home from school or creche. There are a vast number of reasons why this is not an ideal scenario. We are going to talk about none of those reasons. Instead, we are going to roll our sleeves up and get on with it.
To make your day a little easier, here are our top tips on how to be productive while working from home with children.
Keep Your Routine
As tempting as it may be to have a lie in and throw caution to the wind, a routine will help your children to feel secure, safe and less anxious. We’re not talking about Von Trapp style structure, but it is worth remembering that their typical day has also been disrupted, and that can be stressful for them too.
This anxiety and stress may lead to behavioural problems throughout the day, which is not conducive to you working productively. Maintaining a routine will inspire confidence and independence in your little ones which, in turn, could free you up to join that important conference call.
Do yourselves and your little ones a favour; prepare those lunches, read that bedtime story, set your morning alarm and take your finger off that snooze button. Okay, ten more minutes won’t hurt anyone …
Use Your Commuting Time
Looking on the bright side, we’ve gotten some time back in our day. Whether your typical commute to work was twenty minutes or two hours it is important to make the most of it. Using this time as an opportunity to relax over breakfast with your little ones will foster family bonding and keep the guilt at bay when your attention is diverted to the report that’s due.
Preparing lunches and snacks in advance will help avoid cranky children and hangry parents. This is the most opportune time to get organised.
Share The Load
If you are one of the lucky ones with both parents working from home try to stagger your meetings and take it in turns to be the “go to” parent. Prioritise only the necessary activities and meetings – be ruthless.
If you are flying solo at home don’t be afraid to call in (family only) reinforcements for an hour or two. It will ease your mind if you can get some time to focus on a single task. Remember, if you need to reschedule appointments or meetings, everyone is in the same boat and will be understanding rather than disappointed or judgemental.
Take Some Time Out
It’s probably more important now than ever to take regular breaks. Bring your young ones outside, weather permitting, to kick a ball, go scooting or have a little cycle around the block. A little bit of fresh air for both parents and children will ease that feeling of confinement and bring with it a sense of normality in an increasingly volatile environment.
Give Yourself A Break
There will be times when your patience is tested, when the day is not going your way and when, no matter what you try, your children will not tow the company line. That’s okay. Nobody should expect them to.
If you find yourself giving them an extra hour of TV time or using the tablet to distract them while you make a call, don’t feel guilty. We are all doing it.
Keep Up To Date
Listening to your local radio station is a great way to stay in touch with the “outside world” and keep on top of what is happening in your community. It is a medium that delivers verifiable information from trusted sources, keeping you up to date without the temptation of TV or social media distractions.
While we navigate through this unusual situation, be thankful we are not Prof. Robert Kelly, the expert called on by BBC news, who became a viral sensation after his “working from home with children” nightmare became worldwide news. Remember to turn your camera off when you join that conference call.