Life has a funny way of answering people’s wishes. A few years ago, working from home was a sought-after perk that wasn’t available to the average worker. Fast forward to 2020, and now over 75% of employers are offering some form of teleworking. Working remotely can be complicated, and it becomes increasingly challenging if you have kids at home.
Form a plan to conquer new demands and teach your children valuable life lessons while staying productive at work. Keep reading to discover seven ways to make working from home with kids simpler:
1. Be Practical
Try to remain realistic as you transition to telecommuting. There will be bumps in the road as you form a schedule that works for your family. It might be difficult for them to distinguish work from playtime, so be practical with how you plan your day. For instance, if your children sleep until 9 a.m., plan to complete most of your work in the early morning.
Keep your expectations in check to limit your frustrations. When stressed, people regress and shut down, which stops them from being productive.
2. Establish an Office Space
Examine your floor plan and choose an area with ideal working conditions. Look for a space with natural light, far away from the hustle and bustle of family life. You should try to limit the opportunity for distractions. Select a room with a door you can close, and if you have to share space, put up room dividers. The idea is to create a workspace where your children will know not to disturb you.
Consider making a sign that indicates when your kids can enter and when you are unavailable.
3. Communicate Regularly
Communication is a key part of having a successful work-from-home experience. Talk to your spouse and create a schedule for watching the children. Explain to your co-workers that you have kids who might need your attention during work. You should even chat with your neighbors to see if anyone could babysit for a few hours.
Most importantly, sit down and have a conversation with your children. Explain to them that you’re unavailable when working unless it’s an emergency. Try playing charades to practice what behaviors are appropriate and expected when you are at work or on a phone call. Positive communication will help you develop a healthy relationship that will last a lifetime.
4. Make a Schedule
Consistency creates balance in life. Working from home with kids can be challenging, but following a consistent schedule will simplify the process. Plan lunch breaks, games and nap times so your children know what to expect throughout the day. Post the timetable on the fridge to reduce interruptions.
5. Find Time for You
Make sure to set aside quiet time for yourself each day. When you work in an office, you have a daily commute to decompress before arriving home. When teleworking, you miss that commute time to relax and unwind.
To avoid becoming burnt out, you should schedule some alone time each day. Maybe it is eating lunch outside or going for a walk at the end of the day. Even if you need to hide away in the bathroom for a few minutes, remember to take time for yourself.
With moments in solitude, you’ll become increasingly empathetic and productive.
6. Encourage Creativity and Independence
Encourage your children to be creative and independent. Your remote work is an opportunity for them to grow as individuals and discover new ways to entertain themselves. Eliminate the need for idle conversation by posting a list of activities they can complete throughout the day.
Lists improve your time management skills and your ability to prioritize. Urging your kids to do the same will teach them valuable skills.
7. Create a Reward System
The best way to reinforce good behavior is to set rewards. Whether it’s earning a popsicle or the opportunity to pick the next movie, youngsters respond well to prizes. Be sure to choose rewards that will incentivize your children to listen and follow directions.
Patience Is a Virtue
Routines take time to establish. Try to remain patient with yourself and your family — it’s natural to experience setbacks. If complications arise, look back at these seven tips to reinforce your process. Before you know it, working from home will be one of your favorite perks.