Working from home with kids can be very tough. Younger kids, in particular, can demand attention, distracting you from important work. And due to COVID-19, an incredible 42% of the American workforce is working from home, which means we need to come up with ways to work from home without sacrificing productivity.
In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at how to work from home with kids and keep your productivity levels high. Balancing these two significant demands is very possible, however hard it can seem at times.
Are you ready to learn more? Then read on!
1. Have a Routine
One of the best things you can do to stay productive is to have a routine in place. Working from home offers a great deal of flexibility but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a schedule.
Working from home means that you can feed your baby when you need to and can drop off your children at school or activities but you still need to have a routine. Start your work at the same time every day and make sure that you wear work-appropriate clothes to help you stay in a work mindset.
You should also only take breaks as you would at work. This means no extravagant breaks or a break every 10 minutes.
2. Let Your Kids Know That You’re Working
When you’re at home, it’s only natural for your kids to want your attention. When you’re working from home with kids, you need to make sure they understand that you’re still working. This is especially important for creative, focussed work like blogging for your business.
Sit down with your children and explain to them that even though you’re home, you’re working and you’ll need time alone. Give your children the credit that they deserve: they will take notice of what you tell them.
One way that you can negotiate this is by having a little sign on your door. If it’s flipped one way, it means not to come in unless in an emergency. If it’s the other way around, your kids can come in when they want to.
3. Control What You Can
When you’re working from home, you need to take control of every aspect that you can. This means setting up a positive home office environment that puts you in a professional mindset.
Make a professional environment that looks good on video calls and where you won’t be disrupted if you have to be in any important calls. While no parent wants to completely isolate themselves from their children, there are times where you really mustn’t be disturbed.
To achieve this, you may want to put a lock on your office door that you can use during important meetings, or get a great noise-cancelling set of headphones. Having privacy when you need it is vital for your productivity, and with a few tweaks, you can achieve this at home.
4. Bring in Some Outside Help
Looking after kids can be a full-time job in and of itself some days. If you live with your partner and only one of you works, then ask your partner to take care of the children during the day while you’re working.
If both of you work or you’re a single parent, this is a little trickier. However, there are more options available than you might think.
For instance, you could ask a relative to come over and take care of your children during the day if it’s allowed under regional lockdown rules. If not, a close friend may be able to help out for a few days every week.
If it’s really necessary, you may find that hiring a babysitter or a nanny is worth it. This again, hinges on lockdown rules.
5. Give Your Children Enough Contact
While you’re working from home, your children still need love and attention. Try to give them this at certain delineated times of the day.
For instance, you could try to have meals with your children. You could also schedule a little bit of time in the morning or afternoon where you go and play with your children. Allow them a safe space to burn off energy in the backyard with affordable upgrades like an above ground pool, a trampoline, or even a jungle gym.
If you work in the evenings, you could take 20 minutes out of your working day to read to them before bed. Work and family are both important: you need to strike a balance when working remotely with kids.
6. Let Your Team Know About Your Situation
Most people are very aware of the difficulties that can come with working with children in the house. If your team doesn’t know about your situation, they may not understand why you need to go on mute or go away from your desk more frequently.
The key here is great communication. Just like how you let your children know that you’re working, you need to let your team know that you’ve got children at home and you’re working from home with kids.
Most bosses and colleagues will be happy to make you certain allowances to make your working day easier.
7. Stay in Communication With Colleagues and Family
You need to keep your team in the loop. Without clear communication, productivity could fall across the whole team. We’d recommend that you communicate clearly across cloud-based software apps at all times.
As necessary, you should also communicate with your children, family, or babysitter to make sure that they know where they stand.
Working From Home With Kids Is Difficult But Achievable
We understand that working from home with kids can be a very difficult balance to strike. However, it is very achievable, so long as you keep at it and don’t get discouraged. You can do it.