by Brandy Abalos
orking remotely with kids can be challenging, but it’s possible with some planning and flexibility. You will need to have effective communication and organizational skills as well as a dedicated place to work. You need a schedule, but flexibility is also vital. When working remotely with kids at home, ensure you give yourself grace.
Working from Home Is Common Nowadays
While working from the office on a nine-to-five schedule was once expected, more and more people are opting to work from home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 30% of the U.S. workforce is working remotely at least part-time. Some academic surveys suggest that the number is closer to 50%. Employers are embracing the idea of work-from-home situations because it can reduce the need for expensive office space. Employees value these schedules because they no longer have commutes and can often make their own schedules.
However, figuring out how to work from home can be complicated, especially if you throw kids into the mix. Here are some tips to help you make working remotely with kids work.
Communicate with Your Employer and Team
Let your employer and team know that you have kids at home and that you may need to adjust your schedule or working hours from time to time. Be clear about your availability and when you will most likely be interrupted.
Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule will help you stay on track and ensure you finish your work, even with kids around. Be realistic about how much time you can work each day and schedule your priorities accordingly.
Set Up a Dedicated Workspace
A dedicated workspace will help you and your kids create a separation between work and home life. Find a quiet space to close the door and focus on your work. You don’t have to work in an office, but having a separate space solely used for work can be helpful.
Be Flexible with Your Time
Things don’t always go according to plan when you’re working remotely with kids. Be prepared to adjust your schedule or take breaks when needed. And don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get everything done on your to-do list daily.
Take Breaks as Needed
It’s essential to take breaks throughout the day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Get up and move around or spend some time with your kids. Breaks can improve focus and prevent burnout.
Many experts agree that people in sit-down jobs should stand up at least once per hour. Or, even better, invest in a stand-up desk that allows you flexibility in how you work.
Involve Your Kids in Your Day
Explain to your kids that you need to work but that you’ll be available to them during certain times of the day. You can also give them some tasks while you’re working, such as reading, playing or helping with chores.When you have free periods, spend time with your children. Let them know that you are taking a short break and have time for them. They will be less likely to interrupt a meeting if they’ve just had time with you previously.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are several tools and apps that can help you stay connected and productive while you’re working remotely. For example, you can use video conferencing like Zoom or Teams to attend meetings or collaborate with colleagues. Messaging apps like Slack can help you stay connected. Your employer’s IT department can research the best tools to help you in your job.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
If you’re struggling to balance work and family life, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your partner, friends, family or employer. There are also many online resources and support groups available.
It Is Possible to Work from Home With Kids Successfully
Remember, you’re not alone. Millions of parents around the world work remotely with their kids. It’s a challenge, but it’s possible. Be patient and flexible, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed.