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How to Work from Home When You Have Children

Since the WHO has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, things have been changing every day and our daily routines have turned upside down. And as more people started practicing social distancing and working from home to stop the spread of the virus, suddenly families started to spend a lot more time at home together.

Kids who normally spent their days at school or daycare now have to stay at home while they have no access to babysitters, playdates or even grandma-dates. This is an unprecedented situation for many working parents who will have to juggle work commitments while maintaining a busy family life.

The transition to this new lifestyle won’t be smooth nor perfect but here are a few things you can do to make your life a lot easier. Here are our tips to remain a patient and productive parent:

Create a New Routine And Stick to It

Like adults, kids also thrive on routines so setting out a daily structure for everyone at the home will make your home function a lot better. Having a daily routine will keep everyone busy and managing the anxiety caused by this disruption easier.

Create a schedule that includes school time for kids and work time for adults but make sure to be realistic about how much can be done daily especially for your children’s education.

It’s also important to include free time along with play and reading times into your schedule. Don’t forget to pin your new schedule to a wall or on your refrigerator so everyone can refer to it during the day.

Share Duties If You Can

If you have a partner at home who you can share the workload with, discuss with them how you can plan your working days while also taking care of your children. It might be useful to mark the hours each one of you will need to work at the start of the week or day depending on meetings and calls and decide who can spend time with children when one is working.

It is expected that it may not be possible to work during regular business hours so you may want to consider working very early in the morning before kids wake up or late in the evening while they are asleep.

Having a dedicated work or study area where you can shut the door, will make the transition of work-school time to home time a lot easier.

Designate a Separate Workspace

If you have the availability to separate your working area it will help immensely with increasing your productivity and focus. Having a dedicated work or study area where you can shut the door, will make the transition of work-school time to home time a lot easier.

Even if you don’t have a spare room you can dedicate to work or study, you can choose to dedicate the kitchen table as your new deck when you’re not eating. And since no one will be visiting your home soon, you won’t have to worry about the mess.

Be Up Front Honest with Your Employer and Colleagues

Once you have created a schedule that works for you, make sure to communicate it to your boss initially to let them know that you are keen to make this work for everyone. It’s always good to be proactive and come up with a plan and most employers will be understanding of your situation, especially if they also have children.

It might not be your usual schedule but it’s important to let your employer and colleagues know when they’d be able to reach you. Also, let your colleagues know your new working hours and if you won’t be able to take calls during certain times of the day.

Don’t forget that this is not a personal issue, rather a community issue so kindly let them know your situation in a straightforward way.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle especially during these uncertain times, it’s important to establish a work-life balance while also enjoying parenting. Taking care of your kids while also working is an intense process but quite possible to accomplish. You can easily create a new daily structure that could work for everyone in your household, but it may take some time and planning and get used to. And don’t blame yourself if your kids watch too much TV or eat a lot of junk food, keep in mind that we are all going through some extraordinary times.

A part of our series of helpful “Mindful Content”, we thank you for being a valued Veriday partner and we continue to share our best ­wishes for your health and well-being as we push through this unprecedented challenge together. Again, if you have any service-related questions or simply need to hear a friendly voice, call us at 1.888.706.2817.

Related: How to Improve Your Remote Workspace Technology