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Balancing your work life with your personal life is hard, but it becomes even trickier when you move to a remote position and transition to working from home. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, many parents found themselves navigating new waters. They were suddenly teachers, lunch ladies (or men), guidance counselors, afterschool caregivers, and employees all at once. This sudden title change made being productive a real challenge.
Charley Grey has been a remote company for a while, which means we have a lot of experience in finding that balance between work and raising kids. Of course, we’ve tweaked our plans along the way, but we’ve found these five tips the most helpful, and we wanted to share them with you.
Five Tips for Working from Home with Kids
Communicate Your Expectations
Communication is the most significant factor at work and at home. In your regular work environment, communication keeps everyone on the same page and prevents misunderstandings. When you’re working from home, crank your communication up a notch, especially if you have kids in the house.
The best thing you can do for your family, your employer, and sanity is to inform your boss and coworkers that you have children at home now, which means you can’t guarantee that every Zoom meeting will be interruption-free. If you’re meeting with clients virtually, make this known at the beginning of the call to set expectations, so your client isn’t caught off guard when two tiny eyeballs peer over your desk.
Once you’ve had a conversation with your employer, it’s time to have a conversation with your kids. Outline your work boundaries and let them know what your work hours are and that there are specific tasks you must accomplish within that timeframe. Assure them that as much as you’d love to spend time with them, getting your work done is essential.
If you have an office door, explain to your kids that when the door is closed, you are not to be bothered, and they should knock before entering. When the door is open, you are more flexible and can be interrupted.
Get Outside and Play
With boundaries set and expectations managed, your kids might find that you actually have more time for them, especially in the afternoons. Kids get bored and need constant activity, so make room in your schedule a few days a week to get outside and play with them. Their motor movement is just as important as yours. So, step away from your work and get out for a while to get the blood flowing.
Now would be the time to try new outdoor games, create murals on the sidewalk with chalk, or take a walk to the park to let your kids blow off some steam. Take a book with you to enjoy so you, too, can unplug and step away from the pile of work that’s sitting on your desk. Getting outside for an afternoon is the perfect way to balance work and time with your kids.
Stick to a Schedule
Working from home might seem like a luxury. You get to wear lounge pants, stay in your robe, and have complete control over your schedule. However, being too lenient with your time can cause you to fall behind with work and create more stress for you and your family. Avoid this by sticking to a schedule, just like if you had to go to the office.
Start the morning with your regular routine, whether that includes a workout, shower, and coffee, or journaling, breakfast, and putting on an outfit that sets your mood for the rest of the day. Regardless of how you get your day started, make sure you stick to your schedule and routine as much as possible. This will also help your family keep their regular bedtime schedule so you’re not up late and your kids are in bed at a decent hour.
Make the Most of Down Time
If your kids are still in their nap-taking age (we’re jealous), take advantage of their quiet time to get some work done. Sticking to a regular napping schedule will ensure that you know exactly when the house will be the most peaceful and when you should try to schedule all of your Zoom calls. This quiet time can also be the best time to work on the project that takes all of your concentration with zero interruptions.
Some parents even choose to balance work with naptime as the designated hour to catch up on emails and smaller tasks. You can also use this time to catch up on laundry and tidy up the house. No matter how you choose to use naptime, make sure you get the most out of it, because before you know it the kids will be up, and the house will be buzzing with activity for the rest of the day.
We’ve Got Your Back
Balancing working from home with kids isn’t easy, but it is doable, and with a lot of us still in the same boat, we get it! If you’re looking to work with a marketing team that understands you have personal priorities and doesn’t mind the kids running through the background, then let’s work together! Charley Grey will spruce up your website and keep it running so you can focus on the other things in life. Visit us online to find out more!