Working from home is a facility that most of us are being provided by our offices, but when you have kids at home, it can be a challenging task. While the benefits of work from home can be great, they can also be exhausting; not being physically present, for instance, can affect working relationships, and the continuous distractions and interruptions will be a part of your job. Working from home with kids is a professional challenge. It takes time for one to adapt to, mainly when there are kids around, but with some pre-planning, it can be possible. Here area few tips for working from home with kids.
Tips for Working from Home with Kids
Develop a dedicated workspace
It is important to keep your professional and personal life different, and this is especially true when you are working from home with your kids around. When we combine our working environments with the rest of the home environment, then we will feel that we are always working.
Having a dedicated workspace can avoid the bias between the two, mainly if that area has a door using which you can separate the working adult from distractions. This also helps in keeping the focus on work, and not the kids. This may not be possible for many, but a pair of noise-canceling headphones can work great to create a mental space that is beneficial for a workflow.
A physical association with kids
It is not just for the elders to whom the separation matters. Having a clear home office where mom or dad will be working when they are at home is also a way to establish a boundary for kids. In cases, where a door between the caregiver and the baby is not appropriate or viable, maintaining a distinct work and play area in the same room can also create differentiation and area for the adult work and the kid to play.
Fix your working hours and follow them
Kids need a fixed routine and so do elders, particularly if we are doing a work from job. It is much more probable that the conference call in the morning will pass without any sort of disturbance if they are aware that during lunchtime, mom and dad will play with them.
Maintaining business hours does not have to be always 9 to 5. If there is much space for it within the work-from-home layout, organizing the day around the hours that are most beneficial to productivity and flow can also increase productivity.
Start your day with a family meeting
It is not easy to make children understand what you expect from them, so beginning everyday fresh is a great opportunity to: set the whole day’s expectations. Explain your day’s schedule to your children. Encourage a sense of togetherness. This conversation can take place anytime, maybe while having breakfast or after everyone gets up from sleep.
Kids will always be kids. Interruptions are inevitable. It is perfect to set high standards for us, but make sure they are reasonable so that if any distractions occur, you can get yourself back on track without allowing the blame to overcome.
Getting the opportunity to work from home with kids is great, but it is going to be difficult at times- and that is okay.
Make a schedule
This is one of the significant tips for working from home with kids. You must fix “office hours.” How many hours are you planning to work? When will you receive calls? You will get more tasks done if you work in a smarter way. One of the biggest benefits of work from home is flexibility, mainly if you are your own boss. If your kids are disturbing you during the office hours and it is a beautiful day, it is alright to keep your assignments aside and go to play with them outside. You can do the work later when your kids have settled down.
If you are working in an organization, be sure to have an agreement for the total number of hours per day you should work. Given the reason for working from home, some companies may understand the need for non-traditional plans.
Keep your parent and business roles separate
If you do not keep your roles as parent and an employee separate, providing each of your total concentration for a fixed amount of time, you will never feel like you are doing either of them well. To separate both the roles, you must set up a separate office area. It would be better if you could work from a kid-free zone. It will detach you from the rest of the world. Also, it helps you to disengage from your work if you have a door nearby. If you do not have a dedicated office space, then try to make a list of things that you need to do the next day. Keep it in your workspace and walk away.
Once you have told your organization what is up, you must tell the same to your kids, and that means setting up boundaries. Begin with a conversation and make them understand that “working from home” means literally working. As much as you or they want, you cannot hang out or play with them. Let your kids understand that you have some tasks that you need to complete within a given period, and it is not possible for you to take frequent breaks. Tell them that when the door is closed, they must knock the door before they enter. And if they see a “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging on the door, then this means they are not allowed to knock the door. Rather they can keep a note under your door or text you if any emergency. Also explain to them that once you have completed your work, you will come out. But until this happens, they must wait for you or try to solve the question themselves.
Give a gift for their good behavior
Setting up boundaries is just the beginning. You must acknowledge and praise their good behavior. For instance, if you have young kids that need a lot of attention, then before you start your meeting, make them understand what is happening and that they should not interrupt. Give them a puzzle or coloring project and give them a time within which they should finish it. Involve them in calm and relaxing activities. For instance, be selective with video games that are not allowed for kids.
If your kids do not disturb you, stay calm. You may need to stop your work in the middle and deal with the problem. But, once you have handled the situation and completed your work, have a discussion with your kids. Make them understand that when they are alone, it helps you to do your work in a much better way. In this way, they will be happy to help you.
And, when your kids do not disturb you, make sure you reward them. Praise them and thank them for their support. Once your work is done, spend some extra time with them, play with them or maybe you can read a storybook for them. Yes, these rewards may sound just like bribes. But, for doing work from online jobs with kids sometimes means you have to bribe them to maintain harmony and peace.
By following these tips for working from home with kids, you can continue your work without any disturbance and at the same time keep your kids happy too!