Tips for Juggling Remote Work with Kids
We’ve all seen the scenario now- an important meeting on Zoom interrupted by a screaming toddler, or an interview with kids fighting in the background. We’ve all had to adjust to this new kind of work from home environment and for some, it’s not going away anytime soon.
Many businesses have adopted a more flexible work situation, which means Paw Patrol might be in the background while you do your Monday meeting longer than you expected. We’ve got some tips that will hopefully ease some of that stress and set you up for a successful remote workday whether the kids are back in school or taking classes online.
Be Creative With Your Schedule
This is the best place to start in order to set yourself up for success because you can work with your strengths. If you are a morning person, get up before the kids and get some work done with a hot cup of coffee. Use this time to do the work that needs the most brainpower and focus since that can be a challenge once kids are up.
Alternatively, if you are a night owl (like me), schedule those same tasks after the kids have gone to bed. I find that my best working time is when I know there is nothing left to do for the kids for the day. Lunches are packed, kids are in bed and I can focus on my own projects. This is the time where you can really set up the workday that benefits you best.
Communication is important in all aspects of your professional and personal life, but even more crucial when juggling remote work with kids. First up, talk to whoever you are living with- whether that be your spouse, partner, nanny or relative helping out. Talk to them about important meetings that shouldn’t be interrupted, deadlines that will take more time away from daily responsibilities and anything else.
I would also suggest talking to your boss and co-workers about important things that may come up with the kids that might affect work. Events at the kids’ school, parent-teacher conferences, and sickness are all things that should be communicated so they can plan accordingly as well.
One last thing I will add about communication is about the emotions that are sure to be present and vary from day to day. Communicating how you are feeling, whether that may be overwhelm, happiness, anxiousness or burnt-out, is super helpful when things get tense. Talk to your spouse about it. It helps create connectedness and closeness when the situations are challenging enough.
Stick to a Routine
Kids thrive on routine. If parents do the same thing every day, it not only lets kids know when things happen, but it keeps parents on track. This can be very helpful when the routine of going into an office is thrown out the window.
A routine can be as simple as getting up, dressed, eating breakfast together and then doing school work and job work at the same time. It can also be broken out into blocks during the day dependent on meetings. This way kids know that mom is busy until a certain time and then there is time for play.
For more rigid personalities, this can be a tough one. However, flexibility in a less-than-ideal environment is beneficial for your mental health. Things happen, and we’ve got to be able to roll with the punches and keep moving.
The morning of your big presentation that you spent weeks planning for started with your little one waking up with a fever and runny nose. The nanny had a flat tire on the way to your house and you, therefore, have no childcare on a day of meetings. Things happen.
Ask for Help
You’ve heard it countless times, it takes a village. Help is essential in raising kids, but raising kids in a scary time while also working remotely is something on another level. You were not meant to do this alone.
Whether that’s a friend, relative, spouse or next-door neighbor, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Believe me, they are ready to help.
While remote work can be a challenge to professionals used to being in the office, add kids into the mix and it’s a whole new ballgame. Parents were not meant to have a full-time job under these conditions, but continue to be superheroes, even in a challenging and scary situation. We hope these tips will help relieve some of the stress of remote work with kids. You got this.