Recently, the world has witnessed a massive increase in remote work. Whether it’s a voluntary decision or the new normal, working from home has its own unique set of benefits and challenges. But what if your children’s chatter and giggles replace the delightful chirping of birds and the occasional barking of dogs? Balancing productivity with parenthood can seem like walking a tightrope. But worry not! Here’s your definitive guide to working from home with kids.
Keep the Channels Open:
A little communication can go a long way in smoothing the transition from office to home. Talk to your manager and team, making them aware of the tiny additions to your workspace. This awareness can help them extend their support to you in this journey. Sharing your schedule in advance or updating them about necessary breaks will ensure a seamless workflow for everyone involved.
Ensure that you create dedicated areas for work and play. Children, by nature, are curious and adventurous. Keep them engaged with crafts, books, or other innovative activities in their special corner of the house. By changing the activities throughout the day, you can keep their interest alive. For your work, try to establish a quiet and clutter-free area. And remember, flexibility is key; don’t hesitate to take your toddler for a stroll around the house while you’re on a call if it helps to keep them occupied.
Spread Empathy and Flexibility:
An open communication channel can do wonders for team efficiency. Make it a point to regularly share your schedule, deliverables, and inputs with your team. In these testing times, empathy is more valuable than ever. Understanding your teammates’ feelings and situations, and helping them feel heard can strengthen your bond as a team. Regular check-ins can allow everyone to voice their feelings and concerns. Also, feel free to share your day-to-day experiences of working with kids at home and the solutions you’ve discovered along the way.
Maintain Your Routine:
Although your office commute has now been reduced to a few steps, maintain your morning routine. A shower and a change of clothes can bring about a sense of readiness and normalcy. And it’s not just for you; your kids, too, will appreciate the structure. Differentiating between pajama time and playtime can help them transition between daily activities.
Juggling work and childcare simultaneously can be tricky. Don’t expect to devote 100 percent of your attention to work all the time. A little flexibility with screen time rules or the occasional interruption should be permissible, especially if it’s a short-term arrangement. Try to share the parenting duties with a partner if possible. Plan your day in the morning, evaluating the need for frequent hand-offs. And remember, patience is your best friend during this period.
Despite the challenges, working from home with your children presents an opportunity to enjoy those priceless moments that you might have missed otherwise. It might be a rocky path, but it’s a temporary one. Eventually, the hustle and bustle of the office will return, and the kids will be off to school. Until then, open communication with your team and a lot of patience will be your best tools for navigating this journey. Enjoy the ride!