Working from home with kids
Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Whilst this is familiar territory for some parents, thousands more since the Coronavirus lockdown have had the new experience of working from home with their children. The closure of schools across the country might mean that kids will have more time in front of a screen, and for some, living in close quarters whilst trying to fit in work and child responsibilities can seem like a nightmare.
If you feel like this is you, then don't worry, you're not alone. We've compiled advice from parents and experts to help you get a hold of the transition and enjoy spending time with your kids. Remember, when you enjoy yourself, your productivity goes up and your stress goes down, increasing the wellbeing of everyone in the household. All you need is a little planning and creativity.
Set your expectations
You may be ambitious, productive and goal oriented at work but at home you might have to be more realistic. Having a rigid routine may be great for managing your mental health but failing to stick to it can be devestating. Think carefully about your responsibilities and what you can realistically achieve in a day.
The biggest help for your mental health may be to accept that you can't do everything. It's just not possible so you'll have to find the right balance. You definitly need to take regular time out for yourself, but do you really need to deep clean the carpets this week?
Make a list of key tasks that you need to get through each day and have a think about what can wait until a quieter period.
The early bird catches the worm
Many studies have been published on how much more productive we are in the early hours of the day. Many parents rely on the hours before their kids wake up to take advantage of that focus. You can then steal time throughout the day to fit in calls, emails and shorter tasks that require less focus. Every situation is different so see what works for you, naptime and bedtime could be your best friends.
Establish a flexible routine
Assess your needs and who in your household can take care of each task. Having a structure to your day is important to set out for both adults and kids. Taking advantage of technology can be a huge help with tons of apps and programmes available for entertainment and education.
Sergei Urban, author of 40 Quick, Fun and Easy Activities to do at Home, says that there is no need for your schedule to be too sophisticated. Get creative to make sure that children are entertained throughout the day.
“...make sure you are adding plenty of free play and reading time. If you have a garden, make sure you take advantage of that and spend at least one hour there a day,”
“Remember we need to be isolated from other people, but generally being outdoors is very beneficial.”
Just make sure that you are realistic about how much you can achieve in a day and be ready for interruptions to your plans when it comes to children.
Communicate a family plan
If there is more than one adult in the household then it is important to disuss your workload with each other. Establish how you are going to share the workload and make sure that everyone is on board. A new routine can be daunting and good communication is essential.
Set your own space
Do your best to establish a space dedicated to your working day. Doing so can help your focus and productivity as well as make the transition much easier. Your house will still feel like a home that you can relax in if you can take your work away from the communal areas.
Any long-term home worker will tell you the benefits of drawing a firm line and sticking to it. Having your kids understand that a sign on the door means that you are busy or switching on loudspeaker to let people know that you are on a call is another strong way of communicating that you are working.
At Herts Outdoor Living we have created the ideal solution to working from home in comfort and privacy.
To provide a true distinction between your work and living space, we provide outdoor home offices that boast the best in insulation values, all year weather protection, style and comfort. Your home office can be completely customised to fit your needs and aesthetic.
You can begin planning your garden office today by visiting hertsoutdoorliving.co.uk to see how versatile our modern buildings can be. Our friendly team of designers and engineers will be happy to discuss your options with no obligation.