7 tips to work from home with your kids around.

Back to school season is already looking very different this year. Many parents are feeling uncomfortable about sending their kids back to school. We still aren’t completely sure how COVID-19 will affect our schools, or whether remote teaching will be remote or in-person. 

The COVID-19 has completely changed how many parents think about educating their children. Fortunately, for those who don’t want to send their kids back to school in person, there is often the option to enrol kids in distance learning.

With the school year already pushed back slightly, distance learning, and with many parents still working from home, it’s a unique situation. Trying to balance work while the kids are at home is no easy feat. Here are some tips to work from home with your kids around.

working from home when you have kids

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set expectations

Trying to work, watch the kids, and ensure they are following distance learning schedules is a difficult balancing act to master. There’s no doubt it will take some time for your household to get into a good flow. The first thing you need to do is set expectations so everyone is on the same page. Have a chat with your kids about the situation and what’s happening (assuming they’re old enough to understand).

Make it clear what is expected of them during the school day and try to have clear rules in place. Remind them that you also have to work and there may be times when you are on calls or video conferences that require your complete undivided attention. Try to have quiet activities planned for these times.

assess childcare options

Assess your childcare options. Will time watching the kids be split between you and a partner? Or are you solely responsible for childcare and schooling? Any help you can get with the kids can take some pressure off you. Perhaps a family member can look after the kids for a day or a few hours per week to allow you to have some focused work time.

speak with your employer about your options

If you are planning to keep your kids out of school, you should have a conversation with your employer about your options. Do you have flexibility with your work schedule? Can you use your vacation time in a more flexible way, such as taking off one day per week to reduce your workload? Are you able to work evenings or weekends so you can focus on the kids during the day? Talk with your employer to see if there is a solution that works for everyone. During the pandemic, most employers will be understanding of your unique requirements and make an effort to work with you to find a mutually beneficial solution.

set a schedule

Having an effective schedule is very important. Try to work the same hours, if possible. Have the kids follow the same schooling schedule each day. Plan lunch and activities at the same time during the day. A good schedule can simplify the day. Create one, write it out and post it where everyone can see it.

set boundaries

Boundaries are important. Having the kids come in and out of your workspace will hurt your productivity. Make a list of rules for everyone to follow. For example, if your office door is closed, it means do not disturb. Explain to the kids that if the door is closed, you are working on something important or you are speaking with your employer. Setting these types of rules can help you work more efficiently.

prepare the night before

Treat the day as if they kids were still going to school in person. Ensure the lunches and snacks are made, outfits are chosen, activities are planned, and all previous days’ schoolwork is complete. This can allow you to get a fresh start every day. It’ll also save you from having to stop and make lunch or get snacks for the kids throughout the day.

expect some setbacks

This is a unique time for everyone. It’ll take some time for you and the kids to adjust to this new situation. Things will not be perfect. There will be hiccups and new challenges will emerge. Do your best to create a productive environment for everyone. Make adjustments to your schedule and how you do things. Every situation is unique. Do your best to create an environment that works for your family.

want to increase your productivity while working from home?

check out more work from home advice