Do you have to work from home with your kids around? It may be tough, but you can make it work with the right tips, tools, mindset and a proper home office setup. We’ve put together some essential tips so that you can make it an efficient and stress-free work from home experience with kids.
Plan Your Day the Previous Night
For the most efficient and productive day, plan your tasks and errands the previous day night or early in the morning. This sets the intention for the whole day and you’re guaranteed to get more done!
Wake Up Early
Start your day early so that you get some quiet time before your kids wake up. This will give you a good 1-2 hours to catch up with pending tasks, yoga, meditation, gardening, or just chatting up with your partner or parents. And, if you’re most productive in the early mornings, pack in an hour of work before the household wakes up.
Create a Designated Work Space
The most important part of working from home successfully is to have a designated workspace – be it a portion of your guest room, a corner of your bedroom, a comfortable space under the stairs, or your enclosed balcony. Pick a space that gets enough sunlight – this can greatly affect your mood and productivity. Try not to work while lounging on your bed or couch. Once you set up a workspace, communicate to your kids that this is your place of work and it will not be used for anything else.
Get a work desk with holes or channels to hide away wires, and has ample storage space. Pick an ergonomic chair that suits your body requirements.
Optimize Your Workspace
Create an environment that gives you a sense that you’re getting off your personal time, and into your work time. Keep your work desk clutter-free. If you want to personalize your table, decorate it with minimal accents like a potted plant, a framed photo or two, and maybe a few books. Apart from the ergonomic chair to sit and work on, place a sofa or a comfortable armchair next to your work area so that you can stretch and relax with a coffee or a book during those short 5-minute breaks. Keep a shelf on the side with your favourite books, a music system, and maybe a few pieces of framed artwork.
Ensure that you’ve informed your employer about your remote working setup. Communicate your timings, break times, and the need for flexibility in timings. Set the right expectations so that the employer doesn’t expect anything that you find impossible to do.
Create a Flexible Routine
Create a consistent routine that’s flexible as well. If you keep it too rigid, it will lead to added stress – because when kids are around, you will need to make adjustments here and there to accommodate their requests. Make a practical plan for the day keeping an allowance for interruptions. Start your day just as you would if you were to head to office – get out of your nightsuit, shower and get dressed.
Spend Quality Time With Your Kids
Even if you have a super-productive day at work, you’ll feel incomplete and go on a guilt-trip if you don’t spend quality time with your kids. So, take short breaks to have a laugh or play a board game with them in between. Have your meals and breaktime snacks with them.
Plan Kids’ Activities That Don’t Need Constant Supervision
To work efficiently, you’ll need minimum distractions. With kids, it will never be a 100% distraction-free environment. But, you can set them up with interesting things to do during the day, which need minimum supervision so that they will manage on their own while you catch an hour of uninterrupted work.
Sitting at home or in front of your laptop, all day can have negative effects on your mental and physical health. Work out for half an hour or even an hour when you can find time during the day. Break up your workout into smaller 20-minute portions – more practicable with kids around. Another idea is to involve your kids in the workout – get them to join you in a fun dance or children’s yoga session. A win-win for you and your kids!
Apart from keeping tabs on social media, keep in touch with all your relatives and friends. Ring them up to say hello. Drop a message to those whom you’ve been out of touch with. Walk out of your door in the evenings to meet your neighbours.
It’s important to set your boundaries, set up a designated workspace, and stay social and active when you work from home with kids around. Try out these tips to make it manageable and efficient. And, if you need help in setting up an organized home office, reach out to HomeLane, and we’d be happy to help!