As a result of COVID-19, many of us have recently transitioned to “working from home”. An undoubtedly challenging shift for many office workers, and even more so for parents who are juggling workload with childcare and education.
It’s easy to get frustrated and feel completely exhausted and worn out working from home with children. In this blog, some of our “working mums” share their top tips on how to balance their workload and their children’s needs to achieve a productive, healthy and stress-less working environment at home.
Jennifer Bellacosa, Project Manager
- If you have another adult at home with you, implement a split schedule for watching the kids. In the beginning, my husband took mornings and I took afternoons, however, we both found it hard to be absent from work during such big chunks of time every day. Now, we have started switching off every 2 hours, and are flexible with each other if we have meetings scheduled during “our turn”
- Communicate with your manager and co-workers about your situation and work schedule. As much as you try and schedule working time, there will be interruptions from the kids. Your manager and co-workers will be much more understanding if you have to step out early from a meeting or if they hear children in the background of a conference call if you warn them ahead of time
- Try and focus on the POSITIVES of the situation. You are able to spend quality time with your family that you would typically not get when working away from the home
Natalie MacRae, Global Business Development Manager
- Schedule critical meetings during nap time or quiet play in order to reduce background noise and enable you to focus on the meeting agenda
- I find afternoons more difficult as the kids start to get fed up after being inside all day, I have found a 45-minute walk at lunch time helps to break up the day and reduces the chaos in the afternoon
- Take scheduled time away from your computer during the working day, even if it’s for 10 minutes, just to focus on play or learning with your child, the full attention that you give, even for a small period of time keeps them happy and feeling engaged with you. We typically spend 5-10 minutes, a few times a day, getting coffee or catching up with colleagues in communal areas when at work, so why not substitute that time for dedicated 1-1 time with the kids?
Sonia Zelaya, Technical Manager
- Have a schedule and structure defined so your kids can get used to the new routine and know what to expect throughout the day.
- I wake up early to get most of my quiet time work completed before they wake up and start their schoolwork.
- Prepare breakfast and lunch as if they were going to school in the afternoon, so it takes less time to do this during your workday.
- Establish boundaries: when you are in meetings, they need to respect that time and play the “quiet game” until you are finished.