There are plenty of perks of working from home- it can improve work/life balance, increase productivity, and, on the whole, benefit both employee and company. It is also convenient, as it saves time/ money on commuting and allows for a great deal of flexibility. Thus, many people like to work from home.
But working from home can also have its challenges- more so if you are a homemaker have small kids to take care of. Studies show that almost half of parents with children younger than 18 say it has not been easy work without interruptions.
So, is it possible to take care of your kids, as well as get your work done amid all their interruptions and distractions?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes! But it is no simple feat- you will have to develop a well-thought-out strategy and put some effort into making it work.
Six Ways to Successfully Juggle Kids and Online Job
Let’s look at some things that you could do to help you to work efficiently but still make time for your kids.
1. Schedule, schedule, schedule
Although kids may seem completely disorganized and all over the place, they do well with a routine. The routine or schedule you set for them helps them know what to expect and when to expect it.
Hence, you will find that setting a schedule and, more importantly, sticking to it will help the kids and help you plan your workday more efficiently and be prepared because you know when they will be hungry, tired, need your attention, and so forth.
2. Explain it to your kids
Kids can surprise you with what they can comprehend. For example, if you explain to your kids that your work is essential to you and you have to honor your deadlines, they are very likely to understand and may even try and support you.
Explaining to them that just because you are around it does not mean they can constantly disturb you over unnecessary things. For example, let them know that you can chat during meal times or when everyone is on a break. You could also use stories about a mission you’re in and that you must be undisturbed when you’re into that mission.
3. Find productive ways to keep your child occupied
Think of ways to keep your kids occupied when you are working. You do not have to give them a digital device and allow them to game for hours. There are a thousand other things that they can do to keep occupied.
For example, you could let them sit close by and do their school projects or homework. Create an environment where they feel that they are being busy working on serious stuff like you.
You could also find activities that your kids enjoy. For example, jigsaw puzzles, art, a fun online class, etc., can be good ways to occupy your kids when they are not attending school or studying.
You could even introduce them to the joys of reading- which will keep them occupied for hours on end and allow you peace of mind while you work.
4. Find an “office” space
Having a designated working space in your home can help your children mentally register that you are in your “office” and that they should not disturb you unnecessarily.
For example, you could set up an office at your dining table or in another quiet corner of the house, which can be your permanent working spot.
5. Make some time to take your children outdoors
Studies show that approximately 75% of children under 12 are not getting enough active free play. Going outdoors to play or for a long walk may not seem related to your work, but it is.
It is not physically or mentally healthy for kids to be constantly confined to the house’s four walls. They need to run, play and interact with other kids.
This will also make them less irritable and easier to handle as it helps them burn pent-up energy and gives them something to look forward to every day. It even serves as a stress buster for you. This outing is an essential break for everyone.
6. Stick to the schedule you have created
It is all well to create a schedule and follow it for a day or two. But to turn a schedule on paper into a habit, it has to be followed religiously.
Set reasonable working hours for yourself and make sure that everyone at home is aware of them. Try to focus on your work and not be distracted with your kids and household chores during your working hours, or you may soon find yourself working longer hours that eat into your time off work. This is not good for anyone. However, remember that there will be times when you are forced to deviate from the plan, and this is okay too.
Have Patience and Plan
It helps to realize that you are not the only one at home who is adjusting, everyone in your home is adapting to these arrangements, and it can be pretty stressful for them.
Nevertheless, kids will often forget the rules, argue, and get upset with you, but they will soon get used to the new schedule if you stick with it. So, give yourself and everyone else a break, and things will fall into place with time.