Working from home with kids may be a daily struggle and it is certainly not easy to harmonise office responsibilities alongside caring for children. However, the key to success is having the right plan for the day and organising your home office. But where do you start?
Working from Home with Kids: Standard or Challenge?
Certainly, for many people, working from home with kids around appears to be something completely normal, i.e. if you are a freelancer, you may have been working this way for a long time. However, working from home with kids has certainly taken its toll on people who have recently gone into home office mode due to the coronavirus pandemic which has caused closures amongst nurseries & schools. Regardless of the reason – working from home with children can and has been a recent challenge for many parents.
How to Work from Home with Kids? Create a Daily Plan!
Children can generally understand a parent has their responsibilities and cannot devote 100% of their time to him or her. However, it’s worth setting clear and simple rules that your kid will remember and be able to follow.
Remember that a child has a different sense of time than an adult. The information that you will have time (after 4pm for example), is unlikely to be legible to a child. It may even make them angry or upset (for a toddler a few hours can feel like an eternity). In order to keep structure when working from home with a child or children, set a clear plan of the day. You can for example, draw it together with your child in the form of pictures and clock hands and place it in a visible place like a fridge door. If necessary (or when the kid becomes rebellious), calmly but firmly refer to the plan. It should include both the time when the kid plays on their own (i.e. when you work) and when you have time spent together.
Your daily schedule should be varied – after 1.5 – 2 hours of work, find 20 – 30 minutes exclusively for a child. In this way, working from home with kids will become easier for you to manage whilst keeping your day as efficient as possible!
Tip: Make sure that the daily plan does not undergo big or sudden changes overnight. Kids easily get used to routine activities, and the repetitive pattern make them more confident – they not only feel secure but also stop asking questions like “when are you going to play with me?”.
Of course, there are kids who can play for hours alone and do not require round-the-clock attention. However, it is your task to inspire them to such activity. How about giving him/her an idea for a new game or an interesting art technique? Sometimes paints, plasticine or even pre-prepared potato stamps are enough for a child to take up a new activity for many hours. However, remember that for safety reasons you should always keep an eye on the kids.
Take a look at our variety of arts and crafts products to keep your children busy whilst you work!
Working from Home with Kids: Prepare a Place for Work (and Fun!)
In addition to setting the rules and working out the day plan, organising the workplace is crucial. If you do not want your children to play with your work documents or your computer and printer cables, set and mark it as an ‘office space’. This should be clearly separated from the child’s place of play. It can be as simple as a colourful rug and pillows to ‘enclose’ the kid’s corner.
Tip: If a child is interested in your work but you are afraid they may destroy your company documents etc., ‘share your work’ with your kid at home and give them safe office accessories – coloured sticky notes, markers, magnetic board, etc. You can also create a miniature ‘office corner’ for your child – for example, with a small desk or a colourful table.
Stock up on these office essentials by clicking here!