Got Kids? Top Tips for Working from Home with Them

Mom working with daughter next to herIn light of recent events, many employers have shifted to full time remote work for the first time.  Working from home can present its own set of challenges, especially when you have kids you need to take care of during the day.

The thought of juggling childcare and your workload can be scary and overwhelming so we’re here to help offer some tips. First: don’t panic. You can do this!

Here are some more tips so you can still be productive while working at home with your kids.

Have realistic expectations

Let’s be real: you’re not going to be as productive as you were in the office or if your kids weren’t home, especially if you have younger kids. Thankfully you aren’t the only one experiencing this. Let your team know you’re doing the best can and be open about any possible bottlenecks in case your kids need a little extra attention that day. Take a look at your pending tasks and decide which you can reasonably take on that day and which can be pushed out a few days.

Talk with your kids about what you expect them to do during the day, when it’s okay to interrupt you, and when it’s not. If you kids have schoolwork, talk about what assignments they should work on that day (more on this later).

By discussing expectations with your family and team, you’ll set yourself up for success.

Create a plan for the day (but be flexible)

Having a schedule in place is important. It provides structure and makes everyone feel comfortable knowing what to expect. You don’t have to create a detailed schedule with each hour of the day accounted for, but setting aside blocks of time for certain activities is enough. Some schools are continuing to teach remotely so that could occupy your kids for part of the day.  Make sure you schedule some outdoor time in the backyard for yourself and kids. It’ll give them some time to blow off some steam and get outside the house.

Get creative with your work schedule

If there is another adult at home, consider a split schedule, with one parent taking on primary childcare duties for part of the day while the other works and then switching. If that isn’t possible, see if you can get creative with your working schedule, either working earlier in the morning and then again in the evening when your kids are asleep.

Take care of your most important tasks in the morning while your kids are still in a good mood and have plenty of activities to do. You can save lower priority tasks for later in the day when attention spans are shorter.

Take advantage of naptime

Naptime is parenting gold! If your kids still take naps, use that block of time to take care of tasks that need your full attention.  If your kids are too old for naps, have quiet time where they can read or play quietly in their room.

Use what works

The goal here is to use what works for your family. If letting your kids watch tv or play games on a tablet means you can be on a conference call, then do it! As long as it works and your kids are safe, it’s fine. Don’t feel guilty about doing what it takes so you’re able to get some work done.

Be kind to your kids and yourself

Even in the best of times we’re not perfect. This is an anxious time for many of us so remember to extend extra grace to yourself and kids. Things are strange so don’t give yourself a hard time for being a little bit more lenient with your kids just to make it through the day. You’re doing your best and you’re doing a great job.

While working at home with kids is a new experience for many families, it’s possible to juggle childcare and work. With a bit of planning, communication, and a lot of compassion and understanding, you’ll feel a lot better about working with your kids at home. We hope you and your family are staying healthy during this time.