Working remotely and from home can provide great work-life balance and an opportunity to be productive on your terms. However, when you work from home with children, it can be challenging at times. Distractions and interruptions can have an impact on your work performance. With a little forethought and planning, working at home with your little ones will be an awarding experience.
Here are some tactics you can try:
Maximize your time.
Depending on the age of your child, scheduling may be difficult. Map out time and do your best to stay on track. Nap time for your child does not necessarily mean downtime for you. Make a list of daily tasks that need to get accomplished and outline out times when you can complete your goals. When you work from home or remotely, establishing a routine is best, but if you can't, a to-do list can be beneficial. If you are tech savvy, I suggest planning out your commitments in Asana.
Create your office space/office.
Designate a work area in your home. Your work area should be a place on the quiet side where you can organize your work, thoughts and have few interruptions. If the office has a door, even better! Your family will come to understand that when you are in your "office," you are working! The ultimate goal is to create an interruption-free zone.
Set reasonable expectations for both you and your child.
It may be unrealistic to expect your child to sit quietly for business hours. While coloring and screen entertainment have their place, they cannot be required to take the place of adult supervision and attention. You may need to adjust your work schedule to be in sync with the needs of your little one.
Flexibility is key.
You will need to understand that during the day, things may happen and you may fall behind in your work. Sometimes, you will need to stay up late to finish projects. You may find yourself tired during the day and need to squeeze in a power nap. If you have to work outside of your regular business hours, I advise trying to compensate by taking a few hours off the next day to make up for it.
Communicate with your child.
If your child is old enough, explain to them, in terms they can understand, that you are working. They may have difficulty understanding what work requires and what it means. However, when your children become older, they will have an opportunity to see hard work first hand from you.
Working from home with children is by no means easy. Even if it seems crazy at first, over time through experience, reflection, and improvement, you can make it work! Are you currently working from home with children? Is so, what steps are you taking to be productive with work and still care for your little ones?
Rita is a freelance writer, consultant, professor and flex work enthusiast who enjoys the freedom and flexibility of working remotely. After starting remote work in 2011, she has continued to work remotely and currently enjoys the flexibility. Today, Rita continues to embrace the remote work lifestyle and encourages others to do what they love on their own terms. Be sure to follow the Guide to Working at Home where we share advice, jobs, tips for remote workers, freelancers, business owners to find flexible work and opportunities.
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