Working from home with kids
Finding a way to balance the needs of your family and working from home can take time — and every day can bring new challenges. So, how can you maintain work and still have a clear mind when you have multiple daily distractions? Don’t worry, this can be done with some thought and pre-planning:
1. Choose an appropriate work area
Not everybody has an office space at home, but if you do have a desk or an area where you can separate work and home, this gives you the expectation that when you are in that space, you are in work mode.
In cases where a door between the parent and the child isn’t there, maintaining a separate work and play area within the same room can still create a space for the adult to work while your child plays.
2. Create daily itineraries
Creating a daily routine can set kids up so they know what’s ahead during each day. Set times for lunch, breaks, and rest time and consider a reward if they follow the routine, like offering to take them to the park when their work is over.
As many professionals come to grips with working from home with their kids, the idea of working 9-5 just isn't the same. If there is space for this within the daily work schedule then organising the day around the hours that are most conducive to productivity and flow can even increase productivity.
Having your own business hours will also help:
- Create a clear beginning and end to your workday
- Provide set hours so colleagues can get in touch – and when they can expect a response
3. Set clear expectations with colleagues
Setting expectations for colleagues whilst you work from home is important. Being upfront on the challenges and/or limitations you are being faced with at home can help, the key is to arrange schedules that support both you and your colleagues.
It is always good to be open and honest with your managers and colleagues, because this then builds a high level of trust and communication which produces a higher productivity rate.
4. Give yourself a break
Remember that kids are kids. They will get bored, frustrated and break the rules from time to time, but try to maintain a level head.
Being able to spend more time at home with the kids is what you want, so it’s important to set clear expectations for the whole family.