Home Working Tips for Those with Children
We've been asked to work from home wherever possible by our Prime Minister in order to keep COVID-19 at bay and stop the spread of the virus. Whilst this is a decision welcomed by many, it can be a challenge to get any work done with children off school and bouncing off the walls.
Here are some of our tips to having a productive day of work whilst keeping your children entertained.
Home and Work Mode
One of the best parts of working from home is that you can transition from the bed to the sofa five minutes before you start work! You're there to get work done though, and by sitting in a relaxed environment you may be more easily distracted, and your children will not take you as seriously as they should do. Sitting at a table with smarter clothes on can signal that it's time for work and have a really positive effect on concentration levels. It also sends a message to your kids that you're working hard.
Work in Bursts
Set tasks for your little ones to work alongside you but try not to be overambitious about how long they'll be able to concentrate for. For each task you need to complete, like writing emails or going through paperwork, try to align some work for them to do that will take a similar amount of time.
Have regular breaks in between to get up and stretch your legs with the kids will help to keep the fidgeting at bay. Try to get them doing something energetic like going outside to play with a ball so that they can relax again when they come back inside to work.
Manage Digital Distractions
Working in an office is usually a good environment to concentrate in, whereas home is full of distractions. Turn off your phone notifications or switch it off completely if you're trying to get work done. Your children's concentration will break at the sound of a vibration from yours or their phone, and they will be itching to reply to texts or play games again! On the other hand, you could also use distractions to your advantage. Set aside an hour time slot for your children to be allowed on their phone or iPad, or to watch a film with some snacks whilst you get on with some important work.
Try Different Shifts
Although you may be used to working nine till five, you might need to start getting creative and working early in the morning or later on at night when your kids quieten down. Your boss should hopefully be fully understanding about this and welcome the honesty – everyone is in the same boat! If your partner is also at home, work towards shifts that will enable you both to have a designated time slot for complete concentration in a kid-free time. Even if it's just one hour of total focus a day, it's a great time to get all the big jobs crossed off your workload.
Whilst there's no right or wrong way of working from home with kids around, you should start to feel more comfortable as you get into a routine. By being creative and using whatever materials you have to hand, you will be able to keep yourself and your kids sane and perhaps come out of the other side with an even more productive mindset.