There is nothing great about the pandemic, but if we have to find a silver lining, it is that working from home gives us a chance to spend more time with family. This can have a wonderful effect on work-life balance. Even if you work the exact same hours you used to, working from a home office means you don’t have to go to work at 9 a.m., and you don’t have to go to work before you get back home There is no traffic nearby. That means more time with your loved ones! You might even enjoy having lunch together, then go straight back to work after your 30-60 minutes!
That’s where things get tricky: It’s hard to create that kind of strict separation between work and leisure. Even if you can figure it out, getting your family on board can be a challenge. This is especially true when working from home with kids, who don’t always understand why mommy/daddy needs to lock herself in for hours. And it can take a surprising emotional toll.
of course you want To spend time with your family. And you want to help your partner if they are at home on babysitting duty. But being constantly interrupted, switching in and out of “work mode” is tedious and ultimately unproductive.
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The lines have to be drawn if you want to stand any chance of getting the job done. If you’re doing both, it becomes even more It is important that you make this distinction.
The lines have to be drawn if you want to stand any chance of getting the job done.
As a father of a 17-month-old girl, I have had to go through all this myself. However, I have been working from home for the past eleven years, so I have little time to practice! Here’s what you need to know to avoid working from home with kids while maintaining your work-life balance.
make a strict schedule
As jarring as it may seem at first, your best chance of perfecting this balancing act is to set a strict timetable for when you’ll work and when you won’t. Getting into a routine will help Everyone And not only in terms of productivity.
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If only one of you works from home, this routine may reflect the time you normally work (for example, 8am-5pm with one-hour breaks). If you have young children, they will have a strict routine of their own for snacking and napping, so you may need to find a way to sync these together.
The best thing about a routine is that it gives you all a chance to adapt.
If you’re both working from home with kids, you need to be a little more creative to maintain a good (or acceptable) work-life balance. This could mean working four hours every day, then working a few more hours as a family at the end of the day before sleeping in. Other options include working a few hours during the weekend, or working together during naps. Get creative with how you’ll fit in with your new schedule. Try to think outside the realm of normal “office hours”.
Ideal? away with! But at least that way you have some family time together.
Whatever you decide, the best thing about a routine is that it gives you all a chance to adapt. What seems impossible at first will eventually return to normal, and you will naturally get into that rhythm. Do what you can to maintain this routine, and only break it where there is no other option.
Minimizing interruptions in your work day is also important. Staying focused at home is a challenge in itself due to the loss of infrastructure, societal pressures and an isolated environment. If you’re constantly “meeted” by your partner and baby, you’ll never be able to have solid, consistent focus.
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Talk to your partner about the importance of uninterrupted time. explain that it will eventually lead to you more time together in the long run. You can take a short coffee break yourself and use that time to pause and say hello. The difference is that it will be on Your terms, at a time that suits you.
A useful trick is to create a visual signal that will let your family know when you may and may not be upset. For example, you can leave your door slightly open when answering emails, but close it while working on a coding project.
Along with this, you also need to be realistic and empathetic. Unless you have a heart of steel, you’re going to want to go and help out when you hear your kids crying, getting sick, or your partner going up the wall!
The reality of this situation is that there will be obstacles.
And of course, you can argue:
“Well, if I was at work, they’d just have to deal with it!”
But here’s the thing: you No At work, you are working from home with the kids! And the reality of this situation is that there will be obstacles. There is no such thing as a “guaranteed” time to get things done. So keep this in mind while planning your day, make exceptions and make contingency plans.
Don’t get stressed when you are called away for 5 minutes. It is hard for your family as well.
find ways to relax
That said, you should also avoid falling into the trap of being completely selfless. Maybe you want to work hard from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., immediately turn off the clock until 7.30 p.m. to take care of your kids, and then cook dinner and finally sit down at 9 p.m. Of course, on the weekends, you’ll fix that fence before bringing your family back home to make sure they Okay.
A space of gaming can go a long way! But while this might make you a super dad/super mom, the truth is you need your downtime too. Working from home with kids makes it very difficult for you to find time. This will eventually lead to burnout. In a special way Considering how tense the current situation is!
So find ways to relax. Agree to take a day off with your partner once a week. Or set aside an hour for yourself in the morning that you can use to browse the web and enjoy a slow coffee. It shouldn’t be much, but that little recharge time will make you a lot more effective over the course of the next day.
You need your downtime too.
focus on the positive
Lastly, as stressful and challenging as this time is, there is definitely something positive to take out of it. Working from home with kids means spending more time with your family. It also helps you develop new skills, and it allows you to pursue activities you might never have thought of before.
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Staying positive by focusing on these small victories can go a long way in helping you maintain the energy and momentum that you need.
Like you, I have found working from home with children challenging. Especially now all classes and soft play areas are closed. But as long as I count down the minutes to rest at the end of the day, I too can not wait Until it starts all over again. That means I have to play with my little Amy again!