Think of it as mass migration. When ant colonies are threatened by water, for instance, they migrate. In society, everything and everyone must do their part for the common good. That’s what working from home (WFH) is also about.
Statistics show that Americans have migrated from their usual office work to working in their own precious abode. Early last year, Gallup shows 56% of U.S. workers were doing remote work on an “occasional basis.” That number has gone up to 70% by April.
Remote work is the better option in times like these. But as anyone would know, letting kids and productivity at work exist on the same plane can be a tug of war. To note, kids today need all the outlets they can get trapped in as they are at home.
Luckily, there’s a way you can come out with such a slippery slope. Surely, it’s not going to be seamless at the onset. But with expert tips from real-world workers, you should be able to find your balance: a home that’s both a source of your income and your children’s happiness.
Create a Schedule
Your greatest resource is time so make sure you plan and make a schedule. If there’s another adult in the household, you can schedule alternate times with kids so that they’re not left alone. Assign who can be the ‘lead’ in the morning. For one, that lead can work where kids can see him/her and manage them (e.g., living room); the other can work in peace behind closed doors in a home office. In the afternoon, they swap roles.
Another way to schedule your work is to make the most out of children’s downtime (e.g., when they’re sleeping, watching TV). Downtime frees you from having to oversee them so you can focus on getting work done. Take note that you can create a schedule for them to still have playtime but on assigned hours.
You must take charge of the day before the actual day has begun. To do that, make sure you do plan a day. Listing the most important activities the night before is a key ally to take control of your tomorrow.
Be Upfront with Management
This is a two-way street. If you’re really dealing with an army of kids, then you’ll have to be upfront about things to your boss or your HR Manager. Take time to talk things over so that you don’t end up being given a memo.
Remember that everyone is adversely affected by the virus, so your management should understand your situation. Just make sure you tactfully explain things. There’s no need to be overly aggressive about your situation, as it’s a common thread.
Better yet, you can take it up to the boss as a team. That way, you’re in a better position to get things done.
Make Use of a Routine
Keeping a routine is a great way to boost your productivity. Also, it’s a great way for you to focus your mind away from all the negative things happening in the news.
You must design your work so you can have the quiet you need when you want to. A dedicated home office should be best in this regard. Additionally, a work desk that can maximize your output is spot on.
While a small table is good for your laptop, a wider desk is best for office work. For one, a modern executive metal desk can accommodate your pertinent paperwork, your PC, and all those office tools you need on hand to get going while still giving you ample space to ideate.
And don’t ever forget, routines can go a long way in helping your keep your children occupied. To boot, list down the chores of the day. You can have each do task after their chow time. Make sure they understand they need to finish their chores first before they can start play. And yes, their play also has rules (e.g., no shouting).
Display Visual Cues Hotel-style
Some honeymooners staying in a hotel put up that “Just Married” sign on their doorknobs. Such a visual cue is useful in your quest for greater productivity while working at home. Keeping a “Busy at Work” sign on your door can be a great way to establish borders with the kids.
It might be an uphill climb if you don’t have a dedicated home office. Still, you can use tapes on the floor to designate a table that is off-limits to kids and must not be touched if you’re there as you’re working.
Don’t assume your kids will like everything that you do. They might find your routine-setting role as more of a tyrant than a parent. Talk to them about how things are on your end.
Additionally, you can let them choose their activities and have some free time when they are free to do what they want (within the confines of your rules).
If things get out of hand as they sometimes will, you can get some help. Talk to your office mates that you need to deal with a home issue. Communication is a great tool in this hour of need. It ensures you get the best of both worlds.
Working from home while taking care of your children shouldn’t be a daunting process. Learn how you can balance both; make adjustments to meet your and your family’s needs while earning a living.Balancing Work at Home