One of the positive things that may arise from the current situation is that many of us now spend more time with our families. This can have a tremendous impact on work-life balance. Even if you work the exact hours you used to, working from a home office means you don't have to get to work before 9am and you don't have to commute before you get back home. That means more time with your family! You can even enjoy lunch together and then immediately get back to work after your 30-60 minutes have passed!
But that's where it gets tricky: creating such a strict separation between work and leisure is difficult. Even if you can figure this out, getting your family on board can be challenging! This is especially true if you work at home with children, who don't always understand why mom / dad should be locked up for the next 4 hours.
And this can take a surprising emotional toll. Of course you want to spend time with your family. And you want to help your partner when they are at home for children. But being constantly interrupted, turning "work mode" on and off, is tiring and ultimately not productive.
Also Read: Top 12 Online Tools for Home Workers
Lines should be drawn if you have any chance of getting work done. When you are both working, it becomes even more important that you make this distinction.
Lines must be drawn if you want any chance of getting work done.
This is something that I have dealt with as a father with a 17 month old girl. However, I've been working from home for the past eleven years, so I've had some time to exercise! Here's what you need to know to survive working from home with kids while keeping your work-life balance intact.
Make a Strict Schedule
As good as it may feel shocking at first, your best chance of getting this balancing act right By plotting a tight schedule for when you work and when you don't work. Getting into a routine will help everyone and not just in terms of productivity.
Also read: 5 home office accessories under $ 50 that you want to invest in
If there is only one If you work from home, this routine can easily reflect the times you would normally work (8.00- 5 p.m., with an hour's break, for example). If you have young children, they will likely have their own strict routine of snacking and napping, so you may need to find a way to sync them together.
The beauty of a routine is that it gives you everything a chance to adapt.
If you both work with children at home, you need to get a little more creative to maintain a good (or acceptable) work-life balance. This may mean working four hours each, then a few hours at the end of the day as a family, before going on to work before going to bed. Other options include working a few hours on the weekend or working together during a nap. Get creative with how to adapt your work to your new schedule and try to think outside of normal business hours.
Ideal? Far from it! But this way you have at least some family time together.
Whatever you choose; the beauty of a routine is that it gives you the opportunity to adapt. What may seem impossible at first will eventually become normal and you will naturally fall into that rhythm. Do what you can to maintain this routine and only break out if there is no other choice.
Minimizing interruptions is also important. Staying focused at home is a challenge in itself due to loss of structure, social pressure and a separate environment. If you are constantly being visited & # 39; through your partner and child, you will never be able to maintain a solid, consistent focus.
Read also: Staying healthy from home
Speak to your partner about the importance of uninterrupted time, and explain that this will eventually lead to you more ] has time. You can take short coffee breaks yourself and use that time to drop by and say hello. The difference is that on this will be your terms, at a time that suits you.
A useful trick is to create a visual clue that lets your family know when you can and cannot be disturbed. For example, you can leave your door a little open while answering emails, but then close it when you're working on an encryption project.
With that he said: you also have to be realistic and empathetic. Unless you have a heart of steel, you'll want to help out when you hear your kids cry, are sick, or drive your partner up the wall!
The reality of this situation is that there will be interruptions
And of course you could make the argument:
"Well if I were working they'd have to deal with it ! "
But here's the thing: you are not at work, you work at home with children! And the reality of this situation is that there will be interruptions. There is no such thing as "guaranteed" time to work. So keep that in mind when planning your day, make exceptions and have emergency plans.
Don't get stressed when you are called away for 5 minutes. This is also difficult for your family.
Find Ways to Rest
That said, you should also avoid falling into the trap of being completely selfless. You may want to work briskly from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., clock in to take care of your kids immediately until 7:30 p.m., and then make dinner to finally sit down at 9 p.m. Of course, on the weekend, fix that fence before calling your family home to make sure they're all right.
A place to play can go a long way! might make you Super Dad / Super Mum, the truth is you need your downtime too. Working from home with children makes it very difficult to find time for you, but ultimately this leads to burnout. Especially considering how stressful the current situation is!
So find ways to rest. Make an appointment with your partner to have a day off every week. Or find an hour for yourself in the morning that you can use to surf the web and enjoy a slow cup of coffee. It doesn't have to be much, but that little bit of charging time will make you significantly more effective the next day.
You also need your downtime.
Focus on the positive
Finally, although this is a stressful and challenging time, there are certainly positive things to do. Working from home with children means spending more time with your family, helping you develop new skills, and giving you the opportunity to perform activities you never thought of.
Also Read: Setting Up Home Office: How To Separate Your Workspace To Keep You Productive
Staying positive by focusing on these little wins can make a big contribution to conserving energy and momentum that you need to get through this.
Like you, I found working with children at home a challenge – especially now that all classes and soft play areas are closed. But as I count down the minutes until I can relax at the end of the day, I find that I can't wait either until it all starts again, because it means I can play with my little Emmy again!