Sunday, 24 January 2021

Managing Work From Home with Kids

Covid-19 changed the working style of countless of employees. Many of us had the provision to work from home but for some it was altogether a new concept. Working from home offers us flexibility but for those who had never acclimatized to this style of working may find it challenging. On top of that, the equation changes for those who have toddlers or young kids as one has to deal with constant interruptions and distractions. Schools were shut, online classes started, so not only we had to sit with our little ones during their classes but simultaneously do our own work as well. I am sure many of us would have faced difficulties in doing so. In addition, the added stress from the pandemic has only made things worse. So here I am writing this article that can help to adapt  work from home culture with kids around and eliminate professional risks associated with it.

Managing Work from Home with Kids

Create a Separate Workspace

First and foremost choose a suitable and comfortable place where you would like to do your work.  Even though you are at home but a dedicated work space will definitely help you in giving office like feeling. Plus if this space can be separated by a door, you will feel like working in your personal cabin. This will further establish a boundary for your kids and make them realize with time to not pop up every now and then in that separate zone.

Plan your Working Hours

Kids are dynamic and unpredictable in nature. But few things are in routine such as their sleep time or their play time. If possible, try to schedule your meetings/calls during this time when the kids are occupied and their chances of barging your meeting is minimal. Don't be rigid in your working hours when kids are around. My daughter likes to watch her favourite cartoon Peppa Pig and she takes an afternoon nap as well. These are the most conducive times where I try to maximize my productivity. Also, you can talk to your kids when you can finish your day's work and try to stick to it as they will be eagerly waiting for you.

Its not a Mothers Job Anymore

Generally, fathers done get to spend enough time with their children when they go to office. Here is my word to them, time has come to showcase your parenting abilities. Both the parents should respect each others work and make sure its not burdened on a single parent. Let your spouse know in advance if you have an important meeting/call and they can ensure the kids don't cause distraction during that time. A child requires attention from both the parents, so fathers should not let this opportunity slip when they are able to spend more time with their children.

Communicate with your Co-Workers

No matter how well we plan in advance, kids may still deter you from doing your work. For instance, young children may not be able to go to washroom on their own and you have a call in progress, let your colleagues know in advance about certain possible uncertainties associated with children and ask them to pitch in wherever applicable. Also, you can communicate your managers about your flexible working hours and when is the best time to reach out to you. As mentioned in one of the above points, you will have to be creative with your working hours while taking care of your children.

Enhance your Patience Level

One can not control kids in everything they do. Interruptions are inevitable but how you react during that time is what matters. My experience says one has to deal with kids with utmost patience. If you show too much anger and loose your temper, trust me you will not be in the right state of mind when you get back to work and that guilt will overwhelm for a considerable period of time. Many of us like peace when working but if a child cries non-stop, sit with him and don't be in a hurry to rush back. Also, parents will hardly get time for themselves while managing work and their children and this can have a toll on their energy and patience levels, but this is the time when both parents should come together and support each other.

Working From Home with children is a great opportunity to get more closer to them, but at the same time its an intense job that requires a lot of patience and determination from both mother and father. With a little planning, support and an adaptable attitude, one can successfully juggle between work as well as taking care of their little ones.