With the rolling out of safe distancing and stay-at-home advisories, many organisations have made telecommuting mandatory for employees.
While some appreciate the ability to work in the comfort of their homes, parents, especially those with toddlers, may find working from home challenging. Coupled with the implementation of home-based learning and the closure of preschools/childcare centres, office-going parents now find themselves in the constant company of their children.
Juggling between conference calls, looming deadlines and kids who require constant attention is no easy feat. If you’re working from home with kids, here are five tips to staying productive while taking on the roles of a stay-home parent.
#1 Plan a Schedule
Now with parenting tasks on top of work responsibilities, getting organised is essential. Allocating time blocks for particular tasks will not only create a workflow, but it’ll also help with increasing productivity levels and familiarise your kids with your work routine.
That said, telecommuting does allow more room flexibility – so it’s okay to tend to a fussing young one even if you’re in the middle of a work task.
#2 Prep Your Meals
With parenting tasks on top of work responsibilities, learning to maximise time is essential to remaining productive. For instance, instead of preparing a variety of different dishes, opt for simple one-pot recipes – place some carrots, potatoes, onions and corn in a pot and there you have it – a nutritious meal for the family!
Also, pre-plan and prep your meals for the following day the night before. This way, all you need to do is to pop the ingredients into the pot and you’re all set.
#3 Capitalise On Nap Time
With the kids sound asleep and not having you to constantly keep an eye on them, nap times are best reserved for work that requires absolute focus and concentration. These are also the perfect time to schedule calls or video conferences, where you’re unlikely to be interrupted.
#4 Plan for Activities That Require Minimal Supervision
If nap times aren’t working out, occupy your little ones with activities such as reading, colouring or other craft-based activities. This way, you’ll be able to get some quiet time before the kids grow restless.
Even so, resist attending to your kids immediately once they start fussing in order to allow them to learn to soothe themselves. If you’re uncomfortable with leaving them alone in the room for extended periods of time, consider installing a baby monitor.
#5 Instill Good Behaviour
To instill good behaviour, compliment/reward your children when they display their abilities to respect boundaries. This can be as simple as praising them when they know to not fuss when you’re on a call or when you’re in your ‘work zone’. Such efforts at instilling good behaviour will go a long way in minimising disruptions in the long run.
For your kids to pick up on the desired behaviour, practice your work routine with them, to familiarise them with your schedule.
While being a stay-home working parent is challenging, we assure you that working from home with kids can be done. With enough planning and practice, you’ll be able to enjoy the perks of telecommuting, as well as the quality time spent with your kids.
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