Working from home has become the norm rather than an exception for millions due to the ongoing pandemic. But this new phenomenon poses its own set of problems for both employers and employees. Parenting a kid or kids while juggling tight deadlines, handling multiple emails, and taking conference calls can be a nightmare.
Fortunately, keeping up with your workload while having kids around is possible with a little planning and some helpful tips. Don’t panic! This article discusses five ways to increase productivity while working from a home full of children.
Have a separate home office
Perhaps it goes without saying that your productivity will get a significant boost if you have a separate home office. Working from your sofa in your pyjamas might be a huge perk of remote working, but this can seriously affect productivity because you may be distracted by all the stuff going on in the house. If you have a separate home office, then others in the house, including the kids, will know not to disturb you while your nose is up against the grindstone.
If you have small kids then it’s a good idea to hire a part-time nanny or babysitter who can look after them during your working hours. If your budget can’t accommodate babysitters, why not ask a trusted friend or neighbour to take care of them and repay the favour by babysitting their kids during your own free hours?
Talk to your partner
You can also ask your partner for help while working from home, and this is often the best way to deal with kids if you have an urgent task to finish or a deadline to meet. There’s a high chance that you can figure out a working arrangement where your spouse or partner deals with the kids while you work from home. And when your partner needs a break or has a project of their own to deal with, it will be your turn to keep the kids occupied.
Use nap time to your benefit
Small kids need a lot of sleep and it’s not uncommon for them to nap for several hours during the daytime. Plan nap time to your advantage and finish some work while the kids are sleeping. You can put your mind to more challenging work and tasks while the kids are catching Zs and complete less pressing tasks while they’re awake. If the kids are too old for a nap, then you can ask them to have a “quiet play time” while you work.
Explain it to your kids
This one is the most overlooked ways to deal with kids. Try to explain to your kids why they need to be quiet and not distract you while you are working. Older kids from 8 to 12 years old will be even more able to understand the concept of work time and your need to concentrate. Even the smaller kids will be more supportive if you explain to them the importance of your work and how they can help by being quiet. You can always sweeten the deal by promising to play with them once you are done.