While some people may be finding it ideal to work from home at the moment, others may be missing the distraction-less peace of the office. For many families, especially with young children, working from home can be particularly challenging. This is all new and foreign territory to us – adults and children alike. Yet, we have to find a way to make it work. So, why not have a little fun with it?!
We’ve been listening closely to our clients who are parents and aligned their challenges with our own best practices – as a company that has always operated virtually – to compile these creative ideas and tips for parents working from home.
With the kids home from school, you are probably trying to do homeschooling, childcare and get your work done – all at the same time. Try to find ways to get creative and negotiate the parenting responsibilities. This is especially important if both parents need to work. Even the small things can become challenging, so you want to explore some creative possibilities. One idea is to work complementary work schedules, so that you each have time to focus on work and spending time with the kids. What is most important here, is to get clarity on how you’re going to work together as a family.
Getting creative also means taking advantage of downtime. For some, downtime is when the kids are asleep or maybe early in the morning before they are awake. That’s an opportunity for you to focus, relax, or do whatever you need to recharge.
Another way to be creative is to think of a creative signal for when you are working. Some fun ideas from our clients include:
- Put on a special work hat or accessory
- Use a bright colored Post-it
- Ask the kids to make a “Do Not Disturb” sign for your door
- Use a green or red ribbon on the door handle to indicate when you’re busy
Whatever works to help your family and kids understand when you need to really focus. This is great for important meetings and calls.
Schedule the day
PRO TIP: You want to plan your day in 30-minute increments. Variety equals focus. Be sure to post the schedule for the whole family each morning. That way, everybody knows what to expect and it heads off many questions about what’s going to happen or what’s next.
Then, for kids, you might want to consider choosing a project for them each day. Remember: Imagination is a child’s greatest toy. Get extra creative by enlisting the kids in doing different projects … you know projects around the house. Doing more chores that’s a double win, right?!
Create Family Rituals
Creating family rituals is a great way to connect with your family. Although you’re asked to work from home, the work doesn’t stop. Before you head off into the office for focused work (especially if it will be for several hours), spend those extra minutes enjoying breakfast or sitting around the table with your family. Just spending a few minutes of connecting time with your family can help you to focus.
Perhaps one of the most important rituals you should implement while working from home is a Shutdown ritual. You need a Shutdown ritual to decompress after a day of work. This also allows you enjoy the time you have with your family once the workday is over.
This article comes from our online training “7 Tips for Working Remotely during the COVID-19 Crisis” Click on the link to view the entire training for FREE as well as access other helpful leadership resources.