Working from home remotely along with its immense advantages brings in few challenges too. The challenges are far more difficult and complicated when are working from home with kids. Yes, you can spend a lot more extra time with your kids as compared to others who need to commute and travel to the office. Yet there are certain norms you need to follow or you can say inculcate a few key habits to operate successfully and efficiently from your home in the presence of your kids.
- Create a weekly schedule
- Time adjustment with your partner
- Set expectations with your kid
- Importance of breaks
- Arrange for babycare at home
- Meditate for a healthy mental state
- List online tutorials and useful videos
- Snooze or disable notifications
- Communicate about the presence of kids at home
- Set rules and guidelines
- Special apps for babies
In this article, we will discuss the essential tips for working from home with kids. It will assist you in creating a sustainable balance between your professional life and parental life. You can earn recognition at your workplace as well as spend a comfortable life with your kids.
Tips for working from home with kids
1. Create a Weekly Schedule
While working from home with kids, it is important to create a weekly schedule that includes your office work as well as your kid’s school and other activities. A planner helps you to tune your mind and body as per the tasks ahead. You know when to switch to a parental mode and when to keep your professional hat on.
The schedule or the planner must include the time allotted for all the tasks that are listed. The duration of the activities related to your professional work is comparatively easier to predict and note down. But the time you need for your kids may vary as you cannot always predict their behavioral pattern. You have to consider some buffer and move on.
Important Tips – You must revisit your planner twice a month to adjust any changes in your schedule, activities or the time durations. Consider it as one of the basic criteria to achieve proper time management and discipline for work from home parents.
2. Time Adjustment with your Partner
The spouses or partners of parents working from home with kids, may either be a remote professional or working from an office premise. If both are working remotely, then it is convenient and easier to share the responsibilities of the kids. The time management and adjustment are not very tough, easing the burden on both.
For couples where one works remotely and one works at a predefined office location, the time to be spent with kids needs a good amount of planning. The professional work schedule will be different along with the interaction percentage with the kids. But if both the partners balance it among themselves intelligently and with a positive mindset then both the parents and the kids are happy. The professional life of the parents is also smooth and they can adequately and appropriately take care of their kids.
Fact to remember – Never engage in a competition mode while discussing and finalizing the division of responsibilities and the time to be devoted to kids. You should always respect each other’s profession and personal time.
3. Set expectations with your Kid
It is very important to talk and communicate with your kids on your mode of working as a remote professional. In plain and simple mode, you need to explain to them the importance of your work schedule and how they need to behave during that entire duration.
Work from home parents will have kids of different ages with varying maturity levels. So the way you convince them to be quiet and obedient during your meetings and work hours will vary. For kindergarten kids, you need to keep them engaged in different online activities or playthings which keep them busy. For kids at the primary school level, you can either provide them home assignments or engage them in online quizzes and tutorials. For kids higher up in age, it is a bit easy as they tend to understand the importance of work. They have their world to remain busy with, be it their hobbies or studies or watching interesting online videos.
Fact to remember – While explaining your kids the importance of your work, you need to consider two very important factors. One is their brains are not matured to understand the complexities of professional life. Second is they would ask multiple questions and you must keep patience to answer them. Eventually, you are balancing your work and home life, hence the more you control the situation with maturity the more you will be benefitted.
4. Importance for Breaks
Taking breaks in between your work schedule is very important especially when you are working from home with kids. It is not unnatural that your kids will demand some amount of attention from you even if you are working from home. They may want to show some of their creations or speak with you on some interesting topics. Their chitchats also refresh your mind and relax your brains.
If your kids are off from school on a particular day, then enjoy your lunch with them. You can keep them happy and additionally ease out your mental stress. You can even practice yoga or exercise with them. If you have a café or some food outlet nearby, walk down with your kids for fresh air and some entertainment. It helps to rejuvenate yourself and return to work with more zeal and enthusiasm. Hence one of the important tips for working from home with kids is to allow occasional breaks for attending them and providing them company.
Important Tips – While taking a break, ensure to communicate the same to your team and your manager. If you are outside with your kids, it is good to inform all that there may be a disturbance in attending calls.
5. Arrange for baby care at home
If your work schedule is hectic and requires minimal disturbance, then it is difficult to work remotely at home with kids. Also, you must be wondering how to work from home with a baby who is in a toddler stage and demands constant attention? It is an understandable concern as you may find it difficult to concentrate on both and damage the balance between your professional life and life with kids.
As part of a remote working parent guide, it is advisable to hire a babysitter to take care of your kids. You can monitor the babysitter yourself while attending your office work. Your worries about attending the needs of your baby will be resolved to a greater degree. You can focus on your work comfortably. Fix the hours of work and days for the babysitter, before finalizing the compensation and the activities.
Important Tips – While hiring a babysitter for your kids, ensure you go for a proper background check about the authenticity of the person. This check is important for the safety and security of your baby. There may be situations wherein you may need to step out of the house for a few minutes without your child. The babysitter must not misuse those situations and harm your child.
6. Meditate for a healthy mental state
Work pressure often tends to deprive us of maintaining a healthy mental state. While you are working from home with kids, you can seldom afford such a situation. It will eventually harm your relation with your kids as well as your professional life. Stable mental health is very important for both the parents and the kids. Kids do not feel comfortable and may resort to hyper actions if they find their parents behaving erratically. They may start losing their confidence and trust in you.
As part of a remote working parent guide, it is recommended to relax your mind before starting your day or in between your work schedule. And how can you achieve that? The answer is Meditation. Meditation is a powerful medicine for stress relief and refreshing your mind and brain with renewed energy. You can stay focused while increasing your concentration level. Your mental balance stays stable thus allowing you to maintain both your professional life and time with your kids. Meditation has a magical effect on both your mental and physical wealth and wellbeing. You can even practice with your kids once they reach a particular age.
Tips – There are several online videos and classes which educate and teach about the rules of meditation. You can subscribe to them and follow religiously at a particular fixed time. Else you also join meditation classes near your home.
7. List online tutorials and useful videos
A very convenient and effective way to keep your kids engaged is to list down the online tutorials and videos that are useful for enhancing their knowledge level. Whenever you are engaged in important meetings or priority work that necessitates zero disturbance, you can keep your kids busy with some productive learnings.
You can divide the online activities among all the days of the week. Many of these online tutorials and videos provide assignments and question answer sessions. Arouse interest within your kids to attend and solve them. Once they are engrossed in those videos, they will not bother or disturb you in the middle of your work. Your kids will be benefitted a lot through self-learning by enhancing their analysis power and thinking ability. It is one of the best and convenient methods that can be applied while working from home with kids. Several academic institutions and online learning programs are available nowadays which have brought in positive improvements in many kids worldwide. You can select from them and leverage for the betterment of your kids’ academic and knowledge level.
Important Tips – It is recommended that you must personally scan through the videos and online tutorials before finalizing and enlisting them for your kids. Read through reviews on the internet and judge the suitability as per your kids’ age and grasping level. Do not burden them with too many videos.
8. Snooze or Disable Notifications
You need to mindful while dealing with the different applications and tools you use in your laptops, desktops or mobile devices. While it is important to enabling notifications on the tools and software used for remote meetings, they are a source of distraction when spending time with kids. If you are working from home with kids of ages below 2 to 3 years, their sleep mustn’t be disturbed by notification sounds from your devices. They do need your company while sleeping, hence you need to be careful. As a parent, you will never desire disturbed sleep for your kids.
Hence it is advised to snooze or disable the notifications from various apps and software installed in your devices while remote working with kids, especially when they need your attention. Your kids feel comfortable and enjoy the time with you. Your mind is also relaxed and cut off from the tensions and worries of professional activities.
Fact to remember – Almost all the apps and software provide options to snooze or disable notifications. They provide helpful guides and chat facilities too for assistance and support.
9. Communicate about the presence of Kids at home
Do not hide any facts from your manager or team while remote working with kids. During the hiring process you must inform the company about the presence of kids at home and what are your commitments towards them. That helps to set the expectations upfront before starting the activities. Yes, of course, the company leadership will enquire about how you will be balancing both. You need to plan that out before the interview and express accordingly. You may even want to discuss a few expectations from the company while managing your kids at home in conjunction with your office work.
Though you would be setting up a planner to set time apart for your kids in between your work schedule, yet exceptions may happen. In the event of such a situation, ensure to communicate before in remote meetings or video conference calls about minor disturbances or distractions due to the presence of kids near you. Your team and manager are not taken by surprise by sudden interruptions or background noises. Exceptions are pardoned and people understand sudden liabilities or commitments.
Important Tips – It is recommended not to attend or schedule highly confidential or important meetings during an exceptional situation. That may eventually hamper your work and future assignments. You need to maintain a calm environment as you would be dealing with a kid or kids in between your meetings.
10. Set rules and guidelines
Your family needs to be acquainted with your remote work style. Though it is your responsibility to take care of your kids in parallel to your work, yet boundaries need to be maintained between the two. You need to inform your family members about the segregation of time between your work schedule and time with your kids. They must not expect you to be always available for the kids and attend to them.
It is advisable to define certain rules and guidelines within the house to maintain a proper balance between work life and life with kids. If you along with your family members agree and abide by them, then it is easier to manage the kids and the work activities. Your work also needs respect even though you are at home. You cannot afford always be distracted between important and crucial business meetings. Sometimes you need to attend training sessions too, which involves active involvement and focused attention. Such situations demand a peaceful scenario for concentration as well as to maintain professionalism.
Important Tips – Do not be too rigid and adamant while creating rules and guidelines. Arrive at a consensus with your spouse and the rest of the family members. This will enable a healthy personal as well as professional life. Your kids will feel secure and pleased.
11. Special Apps for babies
With small babies at home, sometimes you cannot predict their sleeping time. For a few days, they may follow a routine, but then they may start a different behavioral pattern. It is not unusual since their body and mind are in a developing stage and their brain is constantly evolving. It may disturb your normal work schedule and especially you may be in a loss if you have to attend important meetings.
Several apps are nowadays available to soothe or relax your babies to sleep. If you are wondering how to work from home with a baby or a small kid, then you can try out those apps. Search for them in the play store or Apple store of your mobile devices and install them. These apps play soothing songs and tunes, coaxing your baby to sleep. Ultimately, you will be relieved and can attend your meetings and conversations with ease.
Important Tips – Do consult other parents or your baby’s paediatrician before selecting the apps for your child. Read the reviews before installing them on your devices. Test for a few days whether it is working for your baby.
So hopefully by now, you must be aware of the various tips for working from home with kids. You can safely adopt the strategies mentioned for a healthy synchronization between your work life and life with your kids. These methods will eventually create a good relationship with your kids while effectively functioning in a remote working environment.