Employees that have kids and have a full-time job are accustomed to managing the day to day challenges of dual responsibilities of working parents and employees. Coordinating between childcare with schools, kids’ activities, managing meals, household chores along with meeting deadlines, work stress, and managing long working hours is something they have become good at – painfully!
But the case during this time of Coronavirus is different. Everything has become more complicated with the outbreak of the coronavirus in the entire world. Almost all businesses and large organisations are asking the employees to start working from home, and schools across the country have also announced that they would stay shut for the coming weeks. Daycare centres are also closed now. Since then, it has become difficult for working parents to juggle full-time with kids and working from home while trying to have as much efficiency as possible.
During the initial days, working parents approached the situation like a vacation, with little or no structure of schedule or timings. For obvious reasons this quickly turned into a very frustrating situation for everyone. Parents were not meeting the deadlines, they were constantly worried about their kids, their entertainment time, their meals, etc. Add to all this the Coronavirus anxiety.
In this article, we will share with our work from home parents some effective tips as to how can they manage their kids as well as their productivity.
1. Fixed timings for activities that must be done
The most important thing is to keep the structure of your day the same as it already was. Maintaining a good schedule will allow you sturdy guideposts to effectively deal with your work and parenthood duties.
Whether or not they still have help like cooks or nanny coming to their homes: they should try to stick to the timings of meals, blocks of activity, and outdoor time fixed. These are the things that can’t be avoided.
To maintain good health keep fixed timings for workouts and mediation. It is advisable to get these things done while the kids are still sleeping. Once you have the priority, unavoidable day to day tasks planned you can move further to create a specific schedule.
2. Create customised schedules
Now that the priorities are handled, create a schedule for each week that inculcates these routines very importantly but the kind that also keeps into account your work blocks and other responsibilities like feeding kids, doing chores, etc.
In your day to day, planning make sure you considered the following things
- What is the schedule of your kids?
- What are you going to cook?
- Which and how much grocery to store
- Timings of laundry, dishes, tidying and cleaning
- How many hours you’re going to stay on the computer screen
- The key work meetings or times
Take all this info and put it into a calendar, google calender can be of good help here. You will know which duties you will need assistance with, with tasks to bundle together for saving time.
3. Ask the family for help
You do not have to do everything on your own. Ask for help when the work gets overwhelming. Even when it is not overwhelming you can still ask for help.
Tag team: Have 4-hour rotating shifts in which two partners share the responsibilities of working and taking care of the child for 4-hour intervals.
Brief shifts: You can also make certain shifts that require 30-minute to 2-hour rotate among many numbers of adults. Like cutting vegetables.
Virtual assistance: organize virtual playdates (more on this below) or calls with grandparents, when it’s possible especially with the elder kids. This will keep them entertained while you need to get a phone call or do some work that requires 100% attention.
4. Make kids aware of the do not disturb mode
It’s important to create boundaries with your kids while working from home, especially when your kids are school-aged. It is helpful in allowing your kids to have more TV time and play more games than usual days in order to keep them busy. When you do this you also need to explain to your kids that this is a not going to be a daily occurrence, it is a special thing, and this freedom won’t last forever.
If you do not have a designated office space, as a work-from-home employee it is important for you to set clear boundaries with your kids. You should train your kids to know when you are in a “do not disturb” mode. For this, have physical signs on the door with for instance it could be a thumbs up, thumbs down or anything else that can keep you uninterrupted and productive.
Know how to work from home effectively
Sentrient’s online course on working from home will help you to work from home effectively, productively and with a positive set of mind.
This course is easy to deploy and only takes less than 15 minutes to complete. It has been designed with tried and tested methods.
For any further assistance contact us on 1300 040 589 and ask for Gavin, Managing Director of Sentrient.