How to work from home when you have children - GulfToday

How to work from home when you have children


Working from home is common in many homes. TNS

As the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly, there have been a few curveballs thrown our way. The most obvious ones being quarantining, social distancing and working from home.

Working from home is the new normal many of us are having to deal with, but it is the need of the hour to stem the growth of the infectious virus.

While some employees are perfectly at ease undertaking work duties from home, the ones with children have been put in a quandary.

With schools across the country being closed to fight the spread of coronavirus, the majority of families are now going to be spending extended periods of time stuck in the house together. 

The reality of having to juggle work commitments and a hectic family life simultaneously can be daunting for those not accustomed to working from their homes.

So, here is a guide to working from home while remaining productive and a patient parent.

Establish a routine

Both children and adults alike thrive on routines so it is important to set out some kind of structure for the day.

Sergei Urban, a parenting blogger who goes by the handle "The Dad Lab" and 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.

“Just 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,” Urban says. “Remember we need to be isolated from other people, but generally being outdoors is very beneficial.”

Louise Pentland, a TV presenter, best-selling author and parenting vlogger, adds that while she and her two children — 8-year-old Darcy and 2-year-old Pearl — love having a routine, it is important to be realistic about how much you can achieve in a day, particularly when it comes to your child’s education. 

“Set small specific goals and anything extra you do is a massive win!” Pentland says.

“It's worth researching what the right amount of time your children should be studying a day is – I discovered that Darcy should only be doing one to two hours of actual 'work' a day, and the rest of the time can be spent learning through play.”

Emma Conway, a parenting blogger who goes by the name "Brummy Mummy" and author of "Will I Ever Pee Alone Again?," agrees but recommends that parents focus on what is best for their own family and not look at what others are doing on social media.


Communicate with your partner

If you live in a two-parent household, it is important to discuss your workload with one another so that you can establish how your working days are going to run alongside taking care of your children.

“Stephen and I are both self-employed and will both be expected to work full time at home with both of the children for the foreseeable future. Which is quite daunting,” Conway says.

“At the start of each week we are going to mark out hours we need to be at a computer for conference calls/meetings and see if the other one can be with the children. However if there is a time where we will be both needing to be working I am not adverse to a movie afternoon with popcorn and blankets.”

Make the most of nap time

If your children are still taking naps during the day, then this can free up an hour — or two or three — of uninterrupted time to focus, says Pentland.

“Give yourself flexible working hours — naptimes and bedtimes are going to be your new best friend, so try to schedule your own work around these times,” she adds.

Have a designated workspace 

Some parents don't have the option of a separate space, but for those who do a designated spot to spend your working day can help boost productivity and focus.

“Clear a space in your house and make it the dedicated office/school work area, ideally somewhere you can shut the door on,” Pentland suggests.

Use technology to your advantage

With children now at home during what was once the traditional working and school week, parents are expected to become part professional entertainers and teachers, as well as fulfilling their work commitments. 

In this case, Pentland urges to parents to use technology to their advantage. “There are tonnes of apps and games that are both entertaining and educational, but also plenty of programmes on TV and Netflix,” she says.



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