How to Successfully Work from Home with Kids
Since social distancing is critical for halting the spread of the coronavirus, some businesses now allow their employees to work from home. Many people dream of working from home. But as with anything, there’s a learning curve. And if you’re working from home for the first time while also trying to care for your children, that learning curve may seem insurmountably steep.
While you’ll certainly encounter some hurdles as you transition towards working from home, you have what it takes! These six simple strategies can help.
Set a Schedule
If your employer doesn’t have set hours for you, it can be ever so tempting to make up your schedule as you go. However, developing a set schedule can help you make the most of the time you have available. For instance, if you know you work best in the morning before your kids are awake, you might want to set an earlier start time for your day.
While you’re setting a schedule, don’t forget to include breaks. Without scheduled breaks, it’s easy to just keep working, which might zap your energy more quickly. If you’re prone to procrastinating, knowing you have a break on the horizon can also help you hunker down and stay on task. Just try to see how much work you can finish before your break time!
If you have kids at home, you might also want to draw up a schedule for them that works well with yours.
Designate a Workspace
If you have space for a separate office without distractions, good for you! But many people may not have the room for a dedicated office or may need to watch their kids as they work. Don’t worry! You can still set up a functional workspace in whatever room you have available. Just make sure everything you need is handy.
However, you may want to work in a different area than you relax, even if that only means sitting in a different chair in the same room. This can help create a clearer separation between work and rest.
You may talk to coworkers all the time ordinarily, but when you switch to working from home, your usual communication channels may be severed. Make sure to touch base with team members using remote-friendly channels, like email, Google Hangouts, or team collaboration software.
Find Excuses to Move Around
In an office, you might get up to talk to coworkers, go to meetings, or take a break. But at home, you might fall into a habit of sitting, sitting, and more sitting. Getting away from your computer, even if it’s only for a moment, can help clear your mind and recharge you. You might get up as part of your scheduled breaks, take a trip to the kitchen for more coffee or tea, or even have a wiggle/dance break with your children.
Make Sure Your Kids Have Plenty to Do
Kids being home from school can definitely make working from home more complicated. Scheduling your child’s day can let them know what’s expected of them and help them stay on task. However, you might also want to have backup activities that they can switch to if they finish early. Obviously, you want to be available to your children if they need you, but you probably want to avoid them constantly interrupting you for guidance on what to do next.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
No one is perfect, and changes are happening very rapidly. Try not to blame yourself if this transition isn’t as smooth as you’d hoped. Just do your best, and trust that you’ll learn as you go.
Have you worked from home before? If so, what have you done that has helped you be more productive? Share your tips in the comments section below!