2020 became the year of Work from Home in wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. And though things appear to be moving in the right direction thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s likely that WFH or some variation of it is here to stay.
Whether your kids are also learning from home or you have little tots who are too young from school, it can be extremely challenging to work from home with your kiddos constantly asking you for snacks, telling you they’re bored, or fighting with their siblings.
Let’s go over some tried and tested tips to make working from home with kids more manageable.
- Ask for help. Nobody said you had to manage WFH with kids alone.
- Teamwork. Lean on your spouse, neighbors, and friends to help with childcare.
- Work when the kids sleep.
- Take kid breaks.
#1 Ask For Help
Ask for help mom, you are not superwoman! It’s impossible to attend to your job and kids like they both deserve when you are stretched too thin. There’s nothing wrong with having a family member, friend, or paying a nanny to take the little ones off your hands a few days a week so you can get your work done efficiently and properly.
The latest figures show that by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working from home. That’s an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels. So, chances are, you are not alone in your WFH ventures. Use that to your advantage. Whether it’s your spouse, best friend, neighbor, or even sweet Linda from church’s daughter, team up with other parents who are working from home to trade off on childcare duties.
This will look different for different situations, but if your spouse is also WFH, you can have them handle the kids in the morning so that you are free for your 9 a.m. call, and they can have the afternoon to work on their expense reports.
Maybe your neighbor only has one important call on Mondays at 4 p.m, which happens to be when you wrap up for the day. Turn this into a trade-off opportunity where her kids can be at your house Monday afternoons in exchange for sending your kids to her house on Monday mornings.
#3 Work When The Kids Sleep
We’ve all heard of “sleep when the baby sleeps,” but what about “work when the kids sleep?” Early mornings and late evenings are prime working hours for parents. Personally, my favorite time of day is 5:30 a.m., as I get some peace and solitude to sip my coffee and get a large chunk of work done before the baby (and husband) wake up around 7:30.
I also find myself answering emails and preparing my work for the next day after baby goes to sleep, which has been extremely helpful in allowing me to use my morning time to knock stuff out instead of wasting time on planning.
#4 Take Kid Breaks
If you do find yourself working while the kids are awake or home, make sure to take some breaks to tend to them. It’s healthy to take breaks from work in general. So use that time to check on your kids, get them a snack, watch their favorite episode of Peppa with them, or anything else you can do to entertain them for about 30 minutes.
#5 Let Them In Your Workspace
One of the hardest parts about working from home is that your kids know you are there. A lot of times, our kiddos just want to be around us, and depending on their age, doing what we’re doing. If your kids are learning from home, invite them to attend Zoom School in your office with you.
That way, you are both focused and being productive. If your kids are younger and still in that destructive phase, invite them in for the last five or ten minutes of your day. This will allow you to still spend time with your kids and invite them into what you’re doing without killing your productivity too much.
If you have any other tips that have helped you learn how to effectively work from home with kids, please share them with us. We would love to hear them!