Working at home with kids around

08 Jul 2021

The pandemic didn’t just change our work routine but also has sent everyone home – and we mean everyone! Schools were closed down temporarily to minimise the spread of the virus, and this posed as a challenge for those parents with young children and were also working from home. It’s a challenge that has to be overcome and maintain productivity at work. It may not be as chaotic as movies portray it to be - you’re on a Zoom call with business partners or your boss and suddenly the kids start crying and yelling, making your job tougher than it should be. It may not always be to this extent but it’s important to prepare and know about some tips that will help you during your work hours. 

Think early

It’s recommended to wake up early, before the kids wake up and start thinking about what you need to do. Have a good breakfast to start the day right, complete your to-do list and start thinking about your bigger tasks. This way, you will be able to concentrate on other work that requires less focus, such as calls and emails. Focus on what you can accomplish, and the quality of the work produced rather than the time spent on it. Once your kids are up, spend some time with them and give them breakfast. You can carry out the smaller tasks whilst the kids are eating or doing their schoolwork. A work from home mum, speaking to Today’s Parent said, “Get everyone outside for a bit, even if it’s just five minutes of jumping jacks or being silly.”

Family plan

Productivity consultant in Ashville, North Carolina, Tonya Dalton explains, “Be overly communicative and set boundaries. It’s okay if you want to talk to your kids to take your mind off work, but it needs to be siloed to work breaks.” Your kids need to know that you’re working and that it isn’t a holiday – that you need your time to work. When planning your day, keep in mind that the day can’t be spent just like you used to spend it at the office. New York-based professional speaker focusing on professional development and human connection, Holland Haiis said, “It lets everyone know what they can expect next in this new environment where everything feels a little different.”

Share the workload

Sometimes it feels like there’s too much to do! The work list seems to have got longer, but it would be better if the tasks and chores are split between two. It would be handy to share the workload with your spouse. This would not only ease the pressure of handling all tasks but also give each person some time to solely focus on work. We’ve already mentioned that some tasks can be done whilst doing something else, but it would be effective to have some time to focus on just work. Moreover, you can ask other family members to help, to look after the kids whilst you’re presenting or focusing on a tough project. 

Give the kids some time

Keep in mind that this way of life is new for the kids too. It’s weird to not go into the office, but it’s also weird for the kids to not go to school and meet their friends. It’s very easy to get lost in work and forget about the kids – so it’s important to spend time with them too during the day. A Twitter user had posted, “You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.” It’s good to remember that it’s a tough period of time for everyone. You can take shorts breaks and spend them with your kids. Haiis says, “Working adults with children have been gifted a rare opportunity to take a break and experience recess and playtime with their kids – and it too will pass,”