10 Tips to help you adjust to working from home with kids during the COVID19.
By: Josie Lopez.
The coronavirus outbreak has hit the world hard and fast, it’s almost as if it materialized overnight. If someone would have told me four weeks ago that I would be locked in my house with my 4 kids running around 24/7, fearing the worst, while still trying to work remotely I would have laughed it off as a joke.
But that is our new reality, I read a great article that helped me acknowledge the changes and help me try to “create new ways to move forward.” This is our new normal, with school closures estimated to end until the fall. This situation looks to continue for a couple more months and we have to adjust and thrive while working from home with kids…. not just for our kids and families but for our community.
So we have prepared for all of you hard-working professionals a survival kit of tips on how to navigate this crazy new reality of working from home with kids. Enjoy!
- First things first.. organize your time: Make a schedule, their lives have been changed drastically too, a schedule will bring them back a sense of control and predictability, plus help you be more productive and actually get some work done. My suggestion is to have them help and include them in the process, get them all in a room, and create a schedule that works for everyone. INSIDER TIP: Set up uninterrupted work time for you before they wake up and/or after they are in bed.
- Set boundaries: Stick to the schedule, yes you can answer quick emails in between activities but remember if you don’t respect the schedule no one else will. Set boundaries with your kids and colleagues, even if you get the itch to keep on working or to spend a little longer with your kids remember discipline is key.
- Over-communicate: Just a few words in a vacuum, talk to your team and explain your new situation to them, they’ll understand or try to understand If they are yet to know the joys of parenthood. Just remember that you need to show transparency to your peers, that in tandem with your communication will create compromise and trust.
- Gamify your working hours: Not for your colleagues or team but for your children, make a game around the hours that you just can’t pay attention to them, create a point-based game with rewards for them, this will make the wait more bearable.
- Manage your spare time: The watercooler chat will turn into a parenting moment now that your colleagues know you are busy with an extra layer of responsibilities. It’s time to actually do something about it. Spend some time with your family, whether it is chit chat or helping with homework, those idle moments are the best time to do it.
- Make your Schedule Public to all parties: I recommend that you talk about your kids and their needs to the teams you interact with, and why not, put some time in that cramped schedule to your offsprings, believe me in these unease times your colleagues will understand as long as they do have access to your schedule and are able to adapt their times to it when needed.
- Prioritize: The perfect follow up to readjusting expectations, prioritizing, isolating the most important things and dealing with them before there is any trouble. Take into consideration what your manager, leader, or teammates have to say but now you have an extra layer to your decision making. Your children need time to feel at peace with the new normality you are dealing with.
“If you work from home with your kids around, you know it can be a challenge when you need to focus on one or the other. These tips can help.” – The Wirecutter Staff
- Readjust Expectations: Don’t expect to work at your normal capacity and don’t try to push yourself to perfection because is just not gonna happen, instead, try to settle a new normal and a new meaning for greatness that way you will maintain your sanity while managing your household, children, and work all at the same time.
- Pay Attention: To everything you are doing remember The “Creed Movie” One step at a time, one punch at a time, One round at a time, whether your children, boss, teammate or other half is telling you something, pay as much attention to their message. Why do you ask “People who pay attention to details have a better memory than others.” And that will help you improve your quality of life while doing remote work.
- Ask for help: Stop trying to accomplish everything yourself. Your kids demand attention and your job demands focus, begin by creating a list of ToDo’s and ask your children to chip in and alternate with your partner. If alternating with your partner is not an option or your children are too small to help, ask Alexa or Google Home to lend a hand with some soothing sounds during nap time.
Last but not least, be agile and flexible, there will be moments where your children will be the most important thing of the day, however, you still need to deliver your daily tasks. Use the agile methodology to create small sprints to work and to spend time with your family. AND, be kind to yourself, your family, and your colleagues, we will get through this together. There are plenty of different articles on remote work. We all agree in staying safe and maintaining a constant speed instead of trying to outrun everyone.
This top ten is designed to help you through the home office while your children are under your roof. Remember to be patient and flexible with them to maintain your calm under the following weeks and maybe into the future, this crisis is curiously bringing home office as a viable option for many different industries.