After the worldwide outbreak of the infectious COVID-19 virus, new work culture has emerged everywhere. The companies have offered the employees to work from home to avoid gatherings in the office. With this new work culture, people were so happy in the initial days of lockdown. They thought that they did not have to spend money going to the office. By sitting in the drawing-room, they can complete their office work. But, as days went on, people started realizing how hard it is to work from home. As you are staying at home, you cannot ignore the household work. That brings interruption in your work and concentration. The most challenging thing happens to be working from home with kids in the house.
Kids are full of joy. They do not understand the importance of your office hours and the seriousness of the work. All they notice is that you are not going to the office. That helps them assume that you are going to play with them. Here are some essential tips for working from home with kids around.
There are so many times in life when planning is a best practice — and working from home with kids is no exception. To get the most out of the day, seasoned WFH parents tout the benefits of thinking ahead. Often, this has to do with mapping out daily activities, especially those your child can do while you focus on work. Depending on your kids’ ages, this could look like anything from printing coloring pages to bookmarking an algebra assignment. You need to assess that by what time you will be finishing your work. Based on that, you will have to plan for it to make them busy with other stuff.
Maintain a proper schedule
You have to make a schedule and maintain it strictly. According to those who successfully manage working and parenting, it’s that schedules are non-negotiable. Breaking up the day into clear chunks of time for both yourself and your kids lets everyone know what to expect. Schedules may change, of course, and sometimes work tasks get dropped in your lap on short notice, so be prepared to make adjustments as you go. If you cannot maintain your schedule, you cannot get your work done at ideal times. In that case, then don’t be so hard on yourself and do your best to complete the job as early as possible.
Arrange virtual playdates
Just like adults, kids need social time. But when you’re stuck to calls throughout the day, it can be tough to shuttle your little social butterfly to playdates — and even more challenging to have other kids over at your house. Thankfully, with the ease of online and phone communication, there’s no shortage of ways kids can connect from home. School-aged children who can confidently use a device try scheduling a standing virtual playdate with a friend or even a weekly chat with a relative they don’t see very often. Virtual playdates are a win-win for WFH parents: Not only do they provide social interaction for your child, but they also keep them occupied so you can focus on work tasks.
Do screen time right
You’re not alone if you’ve thanked your lucky stars for the blessing of kids’ shows on Netflix. But while screens keep kids’ attention engaged, we all probably know it’s not healthy to rely on them as a babysitter. So how do you do screen time right as a work-from-home parent? According to experts, it has to do with boundaries. Include screen time on the daily schedule you make for your child, and when the allotted window has passed, try to be sure devices get turned off. That being said, there are times — whether it’s during a global pandemic or just a more demanding workday — when your kids may get more than their usual screen time. Give yourself grace, and don’t feel too guilty or stressed if you need to relax the rules at these times.
Work on their nap times
Taking a sweet nap is a lovely thing for everyone. Kids love it most. Therefore, while working from home with kids around, you need to calculate their nap times. Based on that, you should prepare your work schedule. It will be best to do all your serious works for the day during that period. A parent knows, younger children’s daily naps offer a prime window of peace and quiet in which to get work done. As much as possible, it’s wise to schedule tasks that require silence or focus when you know for sure there won’t be crying or noise playing in the background. When kids have outgrown nap time, consider shifting some tasks to other quiet hours, such as early mornings or after they’ve gone to bed for the night.
Share with partner
It always helps to set clear expectations of who does what in the child care equation, so choose a non-stressful time to determine schedule specifics with your partner or co-parent — and then stick to them. If you don’t have a partner, try to find ways to ask for help within your tribe. Even when social distancing during a pandemic, many friends and neighbors would love the opportunity to drop a meal off at your door or take on a load of laundry — just say the word.
Focus on positive reinforcement
Go with a give-and-take policy with the kids. It’s like you give your kids a task to do within a specific time span. Tell them, if they succeed, you will play with them. But if they overstep the time, they will have to do it again. It’s OK to provide meaningful consequences to children who repeatedly overstep the boundaries of their work. Even so, with kids of any age, it’s best to focus on positive reinforcement.
So this is how you can manage your time smartly while working from home with kids around. As this new work culture will continue for such a long time. You need to get habituated with all these tricks and everything.