Some of you out there are conquering it all: furthering your passion, growing your career, and raising a family.
However, when you're trying to accomplish those three things all at the same time, it can get quite chaotic. In fact, many people don't know how to work from home with kids around.
Whatever your circumstances are, whether you have the help of a spouse or older children, here is a survival guide for how to work at home when your kids are at home with you.
1. Make a Schedule and Stick to It
There are several people who enjoy the rhythm of working remotely because it doesn't require a set schedule. You can create your work scheduled to suit your day.
However, don't let that strength become a weakness. In other words, don't let the fact that you can "do your work anytime" stop you from ever sitting down to knock it out before the day gets busy.
If you're an early bird and are always waking up before everyone else in your house then use that to your advantage. Knock out as much work as possible before the kids wake up.
More importantly, you'll want to adjust your schedule around the schedule of your children.
If there's a time that you set them down for a nap each day, then use that to tackle some work. Any downtime that you can find in their day, use it to do some work in different, yet consistent, times of the day.
2. Always Have Snacks Ready to Go
Every parent knows the importance of having a consistent supply of snacks available for whenever the children get hangry.
However, not every parent realizes the amount of time that they spend throughout their day retrieving those snacks for the kids.
Your natural instinct might be to place the snacks on the highest cabinet so that they can't eat through your weekly supply in a day. However, in doing so, you're assigning yourself as a delivery person 5 to 6 times a day.
Instead, you should install a snack bowl and set some ground rules for the kids. Tell them that you'll set out a weeks' worth of snacks in the bowl each week.
But let them know that they have to ask before they can take a snack and that once the snack bowl is empty for the week, it won't be replaced until the next week.
Not only are you teaching them portion control, but you're also allowing yourself more time to stay seated and focused on work.
3. Spare Technology for Your Dire Moments
Every kid is different. Some parents can effectively use technological devices as a digital babysitter and keep them entertained for hours on end.
However, a majority of kids won't stay entertained by a TV, tablet, or computer for longer than 30 minutes to an hour.
However, if they were to view the devices as a rare privilege, then their mentality regarding their use will change. Then they will be glued to it for as long as you'll allow them to be.
Try to spare the usage of your electrical devices until the moments when you need them to be absolutely quiet.
For example, if you know that you have an important call with a client at 2 pm, then plan to turn on Frozen or Lion King around 1:45 pm. That gives them 15 minutes to settle in and get sucked into the movie and stay silent for as long as you need it.
4. Set Their Expectations
Some of your children might be old enough to understand the situation.
Sit them down to explain that, while you love them and are glad to be home with them, you need to have time to work.
You might also explain to your older children that you need them to help out with your younger ones while you're working.
However, be sure to provide a light at the end of the tunnel. Tell them that as soon as work is over, then you'll be able to enjoy some fun together.
5. Stay Consistent
Consistency is probably the most important step to managing your child's expectations of you working from home.
You'd be surprised how quickly your children, even babies, tend to adjust to the schedule that you provide for them. As long as it's consistent, they'll know what to expect with each day.
Granted, some days will be better than others. But as soon as you and your kids find a balance that works for you, then everyone will stay happy.
Be sure to incorporate a few quick breaks every few hours of your day to be involved in your kids' activities. Even if it means waking up a bit earlier to have a longer lunch break, you'll find it well worth the sacrifice!
Use This Survival Guide to Your Advantage
Now that you've seen the survival guide to working from home with your kids, it's time to put these useful tips into action.
Be sure to read this article on how to work from home during self-isolation. There you'll find helpful information on the right approach.
If you’d like to discover more ways to protect yourself and your company during COVID-19, visit our Resource Center.