After a while working from home, most parents fall into a rhythm and figure out effective ways to juggle work and family life in one setting. If you are new to working from home, it may take a while to figure some of this stuff out.
Working from home has its own ups and downs. It lets you spend more time with your kids, focus on their growth, and help with their development without compromising your work and professional goals. However, some parents may struggle to stay productive and keep their sanity intact.
Family members, especially kids, may think that presence equals availability. If they see you at home, they may think it’s okay to interact with you without restriction. To avoid distractions and stay productive, you’ll have to set clear boundaries.
Having the best of both worlds—domestic bliss and professional success—is achievable, but you need to set up a plan to be more effective. Here are some tips:
Designate a Conducive Work Space
Setting boundaries is crucial to staying productive while at home. A visible boundary between your personal and work lives is a great start for this.
Consider your kids and their age and the amount of supervision they require when choosing a work space. Depending on their needs, you can set up a separate room as a designated work space, separate your space with rugs or shelves, or convert a closet into a workstation.
For kids who require a lot of supervision, make sure that they are still within eyesight.
Communicate and Set Expectations
In every job, communication plays an important role. Regardless if you are in the office or working remotely, letting your team members or your superior know what you’re working on and the struggles you are facing make the job a bit easier to manage.
Kids may not make your situation easier—they will have needs you have to attend to. This is even more difficult if you are a single parent.
Make sure that you proactively inform your employer that you have kids at home and there will be times when conversations or meetings may be interrupted.
Flexible working hours may be ideal, if you have that option in your company.
That way, you can attend to your children’s needs and work when they are preoccupied with a game or a book. When you assign screen time for kids, you can be with them working in the background as they watch their favorite movie.
Take Breaks with your Kids
During this time when parents are at home, kids may want to take advantage of the opportunity for more together time. They can spend more time with you, play with you, and eat with you.
When it’s not so busy with your work, take intermittent breaks—five to minutes or so—to read a book with them. This will make them feel loved and important.
Capitalize on Sleep Time
Take advantage of nap times. While they are sleeping is the perfect time to be more productive at work. Save crucial tasks that require your undivided focus and concentration for these times.
Use Screen Time for Kids Wisely
While you don’t want your kids to spend most of their day in front of the screen while you work, you can still take advantage of some media. Choose educational games or videos prior to starting your work. Make sure that you create a schedule and structure their usage with time limits and security restrictions.
An alternative to screen time can be art or writing projects. Tell them what you’re involved with and “hire” them as your assistants. Ask them to write a client letter or draw a new label for product packaging.
They will feel engaged and useful while you get time to focus on the work that needs to be done. A special bonus is that you will get to see their unique perspective on the work you do.
Working from home with kids around can be a challenge. However, you do not need to do this alone. If you have a partner, collaborate and work together to create a balance.
The Pillars Christian Learning Center is a place whose main focus is the development of your child. Need assistance taking care and nurturing your kids to become better adults? Contact us today.