Working from Home with Kids

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Many now work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic, and some already work from home. That said, the coronavirus pandemic has changed many things.

More adults are working from home than ever before, which may have some benefits. Not having to travel to and from work is pretty nice. However, even with all the advantages, there are still some challenges, such as working from home with kids.

Work is necessary, and you love your kids, but the two don’t mix very well. More often than not, you’re going to have problems taking care of business when you have kids running around the house.

You love your kids, but they’re going to distract you from your work. Unfortunately, this is also the case when education is also happening at home. Even though many children are now back at school, there are some areas of the world where children may be back to remote schooling. You never know what tomorrow might bring. Thanks, coronavirus!

Keeping that in mind, there’s really nothing we can do to change this dynamic. Therefore, you have to find ways to make working from home with kids doable.

Although it might take a little effort, you can make this dynamic work. The following are tips you can try to balance your work-at-home pandemic situation.

Create a Daily Routine

One of the worst parts of working from home with kids is the chaos that tends to ensue. It can be nearly impossible to focus on your work when the kids run around and make noise. It can be hard to find the time and the motivation to get into work mode. Therefore, creating and maintaining a solid schedule is super important.

Humans are creatures of routine. We do much better when we have a solid routine that we can stick to day in and day out. If things change every day, our bodies and minds cannot acclimatize to these daily changes.

It’s challenging to stay motivated and productive when you don’t know what each day will look like. You want a routine, you want organization, and you want structure. But, of course, everyone’s routine or schedule will look different.

However, the critical part is that you have a solid routine and stick to it. In addition, this is important for your kids. If you and your kids have a routine, you are much less likely to get in each other’s way. Generally speaking, you want to treat working from home the same as working from the office.

Stay Positive

It can be challenging to get used to the new work-from-home dynamic. Moreover, working from home comes with its own challenges, and it will help the situation if you can stay mentally positive.

Instead of thinking that you’re stuck at home all day, you should be positive. Think about those bosses and co-workers you don’t have to deal with. Think about the traffic you don’t have to drive through on your morning and evening commute. Think about the time you have to spend with your family, even if it’s just in passing.

If you can focus on the positive aspects of working from home, it will make everything go a lot smoother. Having the right mental state is crucial to overcoming any challenge or obstacle.

Modify Your Schedule and Work in Bursts

One thing that you’ll likely have to forget is being able to complete your work in one seven or eight-hour span. Working for long periods while not being interrupted will be nearly impossible if you have kids around.

Although a routine and schedule help, it’s not always possible to follow. This is especially true if you have young children who regularly need attention and care.

For some people, working in short bursts is the best option. Maybe you have to feed your child lunch, but then they will take a two-hour nap. Of course, this two-hour nap is a perfect time for you to get your work done.

Get Your Partner to Help

Some of us have partners who also work from home and have other responsibilities. That said, if you are lucky enough to have a spouse at home with time on their hands, they should be able to help with the routine.

For example, if your partner knows you have a busy day ahead, they can try everything they can to keep the kids busy.

Not everybody has somebody willing or able to help. However, if you have someone around who can help, you want to take advantage of their help.

Working from Home with Kids

Create a No-Fly Zone

If you are working from home, you need to create a home office. You need a space to focus on work and not be distracted by your children. This means having an office free of distractions – no televisions or other such things in the room.

Moreover, it also means ensuring that your children know that your office is a “no-fly zone”  during work hours. You don’t want your kids constantly interrupting your work.

Of course, with all of these Zoom meetings, having your children walk in during a meeting with your boss is not ideal. However, you need a place where you can focus 100% of your energy on your work. It will be easier to accomplish your daily goals if you focus on them.

If you can focus, you might be able to finish your work in five or six hours – instead of being distracted and taking up to 10 or 12 hours to get everything done. The faster you can get your work done, the faster you can spend time with your family.

Let Your Bosses Know and Count on Disruptions

So, you have a home office, and you told your children not to disrupt you while working. That said, kids don’t always listen, and there might be emergencies.

The bottom line is that you need to inform your boss and co-workers that you have kids who are also home and that there might be interruptions.

Your bosses should know that even though you may be interrupted, you will still take care of your responsibilities. So let the rest of the team understand what working from home looks like for you.

At the very least, you’ll get some sympathy, and even better, your teammates might be willing to accommodate you. As long as you get your work done, your boss really shouldn’t have a problem accommodating your situation.

Know When to Schedule Meetings

If your child ignores the no-fly zone, you need to find another way to ensure they don’t interrupt you during the worst times.

The way to do this is to schedule important meetings and calls for times when you know your children won’t interrupt you.

Of course, the best time to do so is when your kids are asleep. But, if you know that two in the afternoon is when your child’s favorite TV show comes on, that’s something else to take advantage of.

Know When to Call it a Day

Another tip is to know when to call it a day. Working from home can make life easier in some regards. However, many people often get way too caught up in their work.

You might think, “Hey, I’m already at home, so I can work for another hour, and it won’t make a difference.” But, then, before you know it, it’s three hours later, and your kids are already in bed.

An essential part of working from home is having a good work-life balance. You need to know when to shut down and call it a day. If you don’t know how to do this, being at home will always feel like work.

The Bottom Line

Nobody said working from home with kids was going to be easy. That said, if you follow the tips we’ve listed above, you should be able to manage it, and the family will adjust. Don’t forget to be patient with yourself and your kids during the process.

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