Working from home can be challenging, and if you’re working from home with children you know that the struggle – and the juggle – is real! Many of us are facing the reality of trying to get our work done from home while keeping children busy and engaged.
As we all adjust to this new way of living and working, a few tips and strategies won’t go astray. We’ve compiled approaches to working from home with children that will help you get your productivity up and stress levels down.
Set up a routine
It’s no secret that children thrive on routine, especially if they are used to attending early childhood education or school. A well-planned schedule can help everyone know what is expected of them at each stage of the day, and enable you to carve out work time while children are busy with their own tasks. Make a timetable to display that is clear and fun, using images for children who cannot yet read. It can be helpful to pre-make lunches and snacks too.
Children need to move and incorporating physical activity throughout the day means everyone will feel happier, more settled and sleep better. Kick-start the day with some movement to get everyone’s energy flowing. Head outdoors for bike riding, a walk around the block or jumping on the trampoline. Indoors you can use children’s exercise videos on YouTube such as Cosmic Kids Yoga or Joe the PE Teacher.
Work while children sleep
If you’re working on a task that requires your undivided attention, you may need to utilise the time that your children are sleeping. This is especially true if you have younger children who can be harder to occupy for longer periods of time. Getting up early in the morning while children are still asleep can be a productive time to work from home. Start your morning peacefully with a quiet house and get your work done before the house comes to life! Alternatively, working in the evening is better suited to some people and can offer many hours of uninterrupted work time.
Utilise screen time and online activities
It’s no secret that screen time can be a useful tool for entertaining children, so don’t feel bad if you need to use screen time more than usual. Whether it’s television, tablets or computers, try to provide high quality, educational experiences through most of your screen time.
Children love to copy mum and dad, and they also like to be involved. Set up your children’s work station nearby to you and see if working side by side can be effective for you. If possible, let your child sit in on an informal work video call or give them a task to “help” you at work.
Be honest and realistic
Children are unpredictable. Make sure your employer, colleagues or clients know that you have children at home with you and that you’re doing your best. Communicating openly and honestly about the challenges of children can minimise the stress experienced when things don’t quite go to plan.
Take the time to enjoy each other
While there is sure to be some hectic juggling at times, try to allow yourself the time to enjoy being at home together and working as a team. This won’t be forever and hopefully we can make some special memories to look back on in the months and years to come.
Who said working from home with children couldn’t be fun? For more activities to do with children at home, we have a page with a list of fun ideas to try. We also have tips and strategies to help you get the most from working from home and for studying online.
We’re here to support our learners and clients during this time, so if you have any questions please contact us!