Working from home parents who must manage childcare and their jobs at the same time have their job cut out for them. Working from home with children is not, though, a superpower you must be born with. It’s something you should work on and improve at.
As many parents will testify, juggling personal and professional lives is not easy, but it has never been more difficult than during the COVID-19 pandemic and global shutdowns of 2020, when the home, workplace, kindergarten, and daycare are all temporarily merged.
If you’re one of the employers whose job has been completely or partly remote for the near future, you’ll almost certainly be doing double (or triple) duty by having your own childcare and tutoring.
There are several best practices for teaching you how to work at home with children so that you can balance your job and your health.
Make a Timetable
Start each morning by writing down a timetable for older children, including assignments, studying, and online virtual courses. Build a calendar for the younger children that includes events such as arts and crafts, virtual workshops, puzzles, and sports.
Want to follow their school day timetable, but replace computer lectures, textbooks and worksheets, and other learning activities with virtual classes, textbooks and worksheets, and other learning activities so you don’t have to do your job to become an expert in advanced algebra.
Set up a workspace
Learning how to work at home with kids is influenced by the immediate surroundings. Create a temporary office in one of your home’s rooms if necessary. Make a sign on the door to let people know you’re in a meeting or on the phone. To reduce noise, use headphones for calls and silence yourself while you aren’t listening.
Make The Workday More Flexible
If you’re working from home with children that need close monitoring and you have a partner who works from home as well, take shifts so you can both get some free work time. Either of you might deal with the kids in the same room or participate in games with them while the other works elsewhere.
If you’re a single parent during the day, speak to your boss about scheduling flexibility and whether you should work at varying times that suit you better. You could get up early and work until your children wake up, work through their naps, and then log back in while they are asleep.
Take a Break
Working from home with children isn’t easy. It’s financially, physically, and psychologically exhausting to say the least. Know that it’s okay if your school schedule is thrown out the window, your family’s screen time changes, or you’re not as creative and centered as normal.
On social media, it can seem that people have it all worked out—parents share their homeschool plans, their children participate in video classes with grandparents and teachers, and they all cook a gourmet meal together every night.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, concentrate on what is better for you and your family—even if it means taking a puzzle break after a phone call or watching movies while you desperately need to complete your marketing update by the deadline.
Communicate openly with your coworkers
At least one of your coworkers is probably working from home and caring for other loved ones in their life, whether it’s elderly parents, their own children, or a sick family member. Normally, you may be more private about sharing personal information about your relatives, but people have become used to a new normal.
Let coworkers know if your toddler could disrupt your video call, if you need to send a family member to the hospital, or whether you won’t be able to reach a specific meeting time. Be open and truthful with timelines and deliverables, and let everyone know whether you think you’ll need an extension or won’t be able to finish anything.
Want to Advance Your Career
The truth is that there is no magic formula for figuring out how to work from home with kids. Everyone’s patience and time are needed. Want to hear more about how to keep your job at the forefront of your mind? If you sign up for Jobs Searches newsletter, we’ll give you career advice and job hunting tips to help you stay focused while balancing other things.