Is working from home with children taking a toll on you? Do you feel like it is impossible to do both? It is challenging to work remotely, and even more so when you have children in the house. However, you can do both, and here are a few tips for doing just that.
How to Balance Remote Work and Parenting
Create a Workstation
Search for a sunny room with a door that you can shut. If this arrangement is not possible, use a dining room table to create a dedicated workspace. If you have small children, work in the child’s bedroom or play area so you can watch them. Consider a headset with a noise-canceling mic and mute button to block out loud children and dogs during calls.
Divide Child Care Duty
Do you have another adult working from home or an older child who can care for younger children? If you do, then alternate shifts. Discuss with your partner to determine who is available at different times of the day. You might even consider swapping babysitting time with a trustworthy neighbor.
Create specific times for different activities. Schedule lunch and create a structure for your children. If they are full of excess energy, assign a YouTube workout or dance party to burn off some of that extra energy. Clearly explain to your children that you have work to do and ask them to give you quiet time. You might consider using a sign at your desk to notify the children when meeting with co-workers.
Let Them Be
Consider leaving the children alone and let them develop freedom and independence by figuring out how to entertain themselves with books, crafts, and games. Set up a snack basket so the children can help themselves without relying on you for everything.
Work in Short Intervals
Multitasking can decrease efficiency. Try to keep your work and family time separate if possible. Set a timer for 60 or 90 minutes to help you keep yourself and your children on track. Make sure your children understand that you cannot be disturbed until that timer goes off. Be sure to do something fun with the children when the timer goes off.
Telecommuting affects communication and relationships with co-workers. It is vital to stay connected to prevent isolation. You might consider speaking with your employer regarding communication tools for maximizing your communication with colleagues. Use multiple channels such as video, Slack, and instant messaging.
Work Your Way
Provided that the work gets completed, it does not matter when you do your job. It can be early morning or at night when the children are asleep. Set aside some time for spending with the children. It can help you, and the children refresh and clear your minds.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
It is crucial to give yourself a break and cut yourself some slack during these unprecedented times. If your children are watching too much television or spending excessive time on their iPads, do not criticize yourself or beat yourself up about it. Remember that this situation is temporary, and it is OK to bend the rules.
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