How to Work from Home with Young Kids

(Source: Webinar from Flexjobs)

Families across the country have been forced into a difficult situation as offices and schools have shut down and increasingly strict shelter-in-place orders have gone into effect to try to prevent the spread of the pandemic. Working with kids at home isn’t ideal, but here are some strategies that make it easier.

Set an Agenda for the Day

How many hours do you hope to work that day? When will you return calls? What can you accomplish while your son or daughter is entertaining themselves? If you have two adults at home right now, you can tag-team; one person can oversee the agenda while the other works. If you’re the only one home, try getting the kids started on the agenda early, so you can log in to work.

Take Advantage of Naptime

Whether your kid sleeps for one hour or three, use this time to finish assignments that require your complete focus and concentration.

Separate Parent and Business Roles

To separate mentally from the rest of the house, set up an office zone.

Keep Kids Entertained

Set aside a few cool toys that your kids can play with or special movie viewings only during your work time. If your children have something to look forward to, they’ll be less likely to interrupt you.

Plan for Interruptions

Hit the mute button during conference calls to avoid any unexpected yells in the background. Give your child a nonverbal “Do not disturb” when you need quiet time.

Take Breaks with Your Kids

Taking intermittent five-minute breaks to read a book with your child during the workday is sometimes enough to let them know that you love them and to recharge their batteries to go off and play by themselves.

Be Kind to Yourself and Your Kids

This is an unprecedented situation. No one is going to be perfect. Try to keep the vibe at home calm. You are very likely not going to get everything on your list done. Your home may become a wreck. That’s just a reality when you’re working two jobs.

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