How to manage working from home with children in the house
Working from home can be tough if you are not used to it but it will be even more of a challenge if you have young children at home with you too.
Here are our top tips on how to make the most out of this tricky time.
Make your own space
When working from home, it is a good idea to have your own designated workspace where you can be separated from home life and the children running around so that you can focus.
Show your children so that they understand that this is a space for you to work so that they know when they see you sitting there, they need to try to be quiet so that you can concentrate.
If your children have been set homework tasks by teachers or they have home-schooling exercises they can do quietly, perhaps get them to do these near you so that they can also work in a focused environment without distraction – it may even give them a sense of importance being able to work alongside you. This way, when they have done as much as they can, you can help review it with them at the end and answer any questions they have.
This can also be effective if they have any reading they have to do.
If you have deadlines for work, make sure you look at your diary and allocate yourself a few hours every day so you can fully focus on the tasks ahead without any distractions. It is most likely that your wife/husband/partner is also working from home and therefore sharing the childcare, work out a schedule between you that allows each of you to have some quiet time when you need it most, perhaps for a conference call with your colleagues or a client.
If you both simultaneously need some distraction-free time for specific tasks, why not set your children a series of their own tasks or games they can play in another room so that they don’t get bored. You could always put on a film for them to watch, so you know that you have at least until the end of the film to focus on your deadlines.
Spend some quality time together
Opportunities to spend so much time with your children are very rare, and although at times you may feel like pulling your hair out, you don’t want to look back at this time and wish you had done more with them.
Therefore, make sure you carve out some quality time each day to spend with your family. Take a look at your work diary and figure out each day, how much time you can put aside to spend with your children – either playing or home-schooling.
The novelty of having their parents’ home can mean your kids can be very excitable at the prospect of spending time with you so make sure they know you are making time for them too, as well as working.
Just remember, in unprecedented times like these, you can’t be expected to do it all, but trying your best is more than enough! And don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t able to spend as much time home-schooling them as you would like. Your 6-year old isn’t going to miss out on going to Cambridge because of lost school time now, and it’s almost the Easter holidays for them anyway!
Images courtesy of Press Association