Tips on Working from Home with Kids
17 April 2020 / Lifestyle / Health and Fitness /
In recent weeks, working from home has become the new normal for many of us. What has also become normal is that the whole family are home together. All day. Every day. Of course, there are lots of positives that come with this new way of living, but there are some big adjustments that have had to be made – and quickly! Like how do you manage working from home with kids? How do you balance homeschooling with home-working? How do you keep everyone happy and keep the peace? We’ve put together some top tips to help you juggle work and family life during these unprecedented times…
Establish a routine
Without our usual routines, life can quickly become a bit chaotic. That’s why it’s important to establish a new routine for life at home, particularly if you’re homeschooling your kids. Your schedule doesn’t have to be anything too elaborate or match a fully-fledged school timetable. It’s important to be realistic and to add some structure to your family’s day, which will help you plan dedicated times for work, rest and play. Remember that you don’t need to achieve everything in one day – be kind to yourself and set simple goals.
Ask for flexibility
The next step we’d advise is discussing this routine with your employer and asking for flexibility if you need it. With a family to look after, it’s not always possible to stick to the usual 9-5 workday. Instead, you may need to start a little earlier or work in the evenings to make up the time you need to dedicate to being a parent during this unsettling time. Your employer should be understanding and do their best to support your request for a flexible routine whilst working from home with kids.
Communicate with your family
It’s crucial to communicate with your family right now. Have a chat with your kids about what’s going on in the world and why we’re having to make these changes. If you’re unsure how to discuss coronavirus with your children, check out the Mental Health Foundation and other charities for advice and support. It’s also important to talk to your partner during this time and determine how you can balance your workloads with childcare. Divide and conquer, if you can!
Create a dedicated workspace
A vital tip for anyone working from home, but particularly those with a busy household, is to create a dedicated space for work. While it may not always be possible to have your own office, having an area that is set up for work will help make the transition from family mode to work mode much easier. Try to separate this space from the communal areas of your home and help your kids understand the importance of it.
Tire them out
A tried and tested technique when it comes to achieving anything when you have kids – tire them out! Exercise is key for healthy bodies and minds, especially during this time. Try exercising in the morning to prepare them for the day ahead and help them focus on schoolwork, while you focus on yours. If you’re unable to get out and about, there are thousands of workouts for kids on YouTube, including the increasingly popular daily P.E. with Joe Wicks. And what’s great about this is that Joe has announced that all funds raised through this channel will be donated to the NHS. So, as well as doing your bit for yours and your children’s physical and mental health, you’ll be doing something charitable too.
Use naps to your advantage
Speaking of tiring them out, if your kids are still young enough for naps, this is the perfect time to get some work done. You can also let your colleagues know this is your window for meetings, so you can have video calls without being interrupted by the kids. But, it’s also important to take time out for yourself and naptime can be the perfect opportunity to recharge your own batteries.
Make the most of technology
It’s easy to feel the pressure to limit screen time right now, but when you’re trying to work from home with kids, technology can be your best friend. Use it to your advantage by downloading educational apps on your phone or tablet, like the BBC Kids app, and browse the wealth of programmes out there to give you a hand. Of course, you can also use technology to keep them amused with games and fun activities, which can be a lifesaver when you’ve got some important work or tasks to do.
Reach out to other parents
Throughout all of this uncertainty, one of the positives is that you’re not alone. There are countless parents in the same boat, trying to balance working from home whilst caring for the kids and adapting to this new way of life. If you find yourself struggling, reach out to other parents online for support. Share stories, advice and resources to help each other out and remember we’ll get through this together.