Working from the comfort of one’s own home is a goal that many people strive to achieve. You get to spend more time with your family, you don’t have to spend as much time commuting, and you get to appreciate more time in your own home.
On the other hand, there are some not-so-dreamy realities, particularly for parents who need to manage work and childcare, such as difficulty focusing; Having to balance work with taking care of the kids, and, in some instances, homeschooling them; blurry boundaries between work time and home life; and kids begging for your complete attention when you need to get something done.
On the occasions when working from home is the least appealing option, you might get the impression that you haven’t gotten any work done and that you’ve been a terrible parent. It is possible to take care of one’s job and children at the same time, but doing so requires adjusting one’s priorities and approach to their work.
The following are some of the best pieces of advice that we can give to parents who work remotely in order to make their home-work environment more functional.
Make Your Working Space as Conducive to Concentration as Possible
You should designate a specific space in your home as your workspace, although you don’t have to do so at all times. This makes it much simpler to cut down on interruptions and concentrate solely on one’s work without letting that work affect one’s personal life. If you begin each day at work by bringing a cup of coffee to your designated workspace, dressing in daytime attire, and putting on your work clothes, you are signaling to your mind that this is the place and time where you begin working.
In an ideal scenario, this would be an independent room in your home that you could transform into an office. If that isn’t possible, you should look around your house for a space that isn’t shared with anyone else that you can convert into a home office. Make sure that everyone living in your house is on the same page regarding the rules that govern how and when they can get your attention. In addition, parents can enlist the assistance of their children in the creation of homemade office signs, with the color green denoting “yes, you are permitted in” and the color red indicating “don’t even think about it.”
Keep Your Attention on the Positive Aspects
Even though some parents choose to pursue a career that allows them to work from home, others have been forced to make an abrupt adjustment to this new reality. Working from home presents its own set of challenges, but it also offers a number of potential benefits, such as obviating the need to travel to and from work each day, spending additional time with one’s family, being present at mealtimes, and being in close proximity to one’s refrigerator.
On particularly trying days, shifting your attention to the bright side of things and making a mental note of the negatives that you are evading at work can be of tremendous assistance. This, of course, does not mean that it will always be simple.
Have a Flexible Schedule
Adults, like children, benefit enormously from having a set routine, and our productivity increases dramatically when we do so. We are better able to maintain our concentration and steer clear of the dips in efficiency that come with trying to juggle or deal with disruptions when we have a WFH (Work-From-Home) routine to follow.
Establish a morning routine for yourself, and stick to it as much as you can, if you want your day to have more structure and be more predictable. As soon as your alarm goes off, get out of bed and get ready for the day just as you would before heading into the office. After that, go to your home office, which can be configured in any way that works best for you, and get yourself in the mindset to work.
Adjusting your work schedule so that you have time for your home life, whether that means taking pauses to relax or time to get caught up on household tasks and take over child care, can help you make the most of the rest of the day. You should reap the benefit of a flexible timetable and create a regimen that works well for both you and your children. However, it is important to keep in mind that you can invariably modify the routine to account for changes that occur on a daily basis. This fantastic suggestion was included in the compilation of ideas for working remotely that we compiled from our team:
Communicate Openly and Honestly With Your Coworkers.
Even though there are a lot of things parents can do to prevent interruptions to their work while they are working from home, it is inevitable that there will be some. Your children will either barge into your workspace, throw a fit while you’re on a Zoom call, or ask for your assistance with a crisis that has occurred somewhere in the home.
The worst thing you can do is to act as though everything is fine, to approach your work in the same manner as you did when you were working in an office, and to insist that you do not require any assistance.
Be transparent with your team about what it would be like for you to work from home, and give some thought to the kinds of requests you can make to make the experience simpler and more fruitful. It’s possible that this will require a modified schedule that gives you more leeway, or it might just require a little more patience on your part.
Work in Intervals Rather Than Continuously
Parents of infants and young children have it more difficult than other parents because they cannot leave their children unattended for long periods of time. Working in small intervals when you are able to, such as when the kids are napping, maybe the best option available to you if you are responsible for providing childcare for other people.
If, on the other hand, you are in the fortunate position to be able to concentrate on your job while your significant other helps out with the care of your children at home, you should organize your day so that you are able to step away from your desk and lend a hand every so often rather than shutting yourself up in your office the entire time.
Nurture Your and Your Child’s Creative Side
It is highly unlikely that your child will be content to remain hush-hush and quietly read a book the entire day while you are at work. If you are in charge of providing childcare for other people, make sure your charges stay engaged in play by encouraging creative pursuits.
You can encourage effective and meaningful play by shifting between different sets of toys and other activities. This will also give you a little bit more time to concentrate on what you’re doing. If your kids aren’t used to playing by themselves, you can try igniting their creativity by attempting to make it into a game — one that incentivizes independent play such as building a puzzle or making something from scratch with art materials, with a set opportunity to prove you what they’ve created.
If your kids aren’t used to playing by themselves, you can try igniting their creativity by attempting to make it into a game — one that incentivizes independent play such as building a puzzle or making something from scratch with art materials, with a set opportunity to prove you what they’ve created.