Tips to work from home with kids
With the current situation, many employees are now finding themselves working from home, and not only that but working from home with children to mind too. For some, this may be a completely new experience and one which may itself may present some challenges. We’ve put together some helpful tips to make this more manageable and pleasant experience overall.
Ensure your workplace is suitable and identify clear boundaries
As is best practice when working from home, you should take the time to set up your own workspace to make it as comfortable and motivational an environment as possible, within reason. Outline to your child or children that this is your own personal workspace and so is to be free from distractions. If they find this hard to understand, maybe consider setting them up with a small personal workspace for themselves, with colouring books, games or toys. If you explain how you will not interrupt them at their workspace, they may find it easier to grip the concept of not interrupting you at yours.
Keep to a schedule
Again, the importance of a schedule is second to none when working from home. Plan your day well, so that you can take breaks when needed and spend quality time with your children. During these breaks, you can take the kids for a walk if the weather permits and if your restrictions allow. Alternatively, you could cook with the children or do an online workout such as Joe Wicks’ PE Workouts which are specifically designed for kids. By sticking to your usual routine, you will have your workload finished during usual business hours, leaving you your evening free to spend with family, minus the commuting times!
Keep them preoccupied and entertained
Families may begin to run out of ideas to keep children entertained while sheltering in place or quarantining themselves at home. Although it may be tempting to rely on additional screen time to fill the gap, heavy screen use is associated with obesity, attention issues, and poor sleep in children. So, if the kids are getting bored, there are various offline activities that can stimulate creativity and encourage physical activity such as creating treasure hunts, board game sessions, teaching them home-economics skills like cooking alongside you, and even setting up a tent indoors to simulate a camping getaway! There are loads of ideas that you can choose from and you can read about them in an article by Workplace Options, a global employee solutions company.
Stay in touch and keep informed
There may be some parents who you only ever see doing the school run, but this keeps you closely connected nonetheless. Now that you’re indoors, take that relationship online by reaching out on social media or if you have their mobile number. You can share tips and also your children could participate in a Skype or Zoom call to keep in contact as well. It may be an idea to set up a group discussion to the children, held by the parents, over such a call in order to keep them informed on what’s going on and allow them to ask questions.
It can be challenging to remain positive in such uncertain times. However, if you are a parent working from home and also minding your child, then there are certain aspects of that which you should be grateful for. Not only are you saving time during your day by not commuting, but you are also saving money by cooking fresh meals and eating in your home. You are getting to spend extra precious time with your loved ones, and engage with your children in a way you may never have been able to before. Instead of complaining about being stuck at home, you need to realise that you are staying safe at home and that you are helping keep your children safe also.
Working from home and struggling to balance work with childcare? We can offer you more advice and tips on this, plus anything else employment-related in the current climate. Please feel free to reach out here.