Top Tips for Parents Working from Home
Each lockdown presents new challenges and this new one is certainly no exemption.
Lockdown 3 has both adults and children working from home, so parents are now faced with the challenge of balancing work life and home-schooling.
Here are some of our top tips for parents who are currently balancing work life and family life.
And if you don't have children or looking for more tips about working from home, check out our previous blog 'The End Of The Office?! Top Tips For Working From Home'
- Flexibility Is Key
Firstly, it’s important to remember that each solution may only be a temporary fix. What works well on Monday might not be as effective on Wednesday. And that’s okay. Everyone’s adapting and you mustn’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t turn out as planned. Tomorrow is a new day.
Secondly, speak to your employer. Explain your situation and the new pressures that are being placed on you by having your children at home with you.
Ask that they be patient and flexible while you work out what works best for everyone involved.
For example, you might want to find out if it’s possible to work outside of your normal working hours. Even if it’s just for a short period.
- Find Space
Boundaries are always important when working from home, but, obviously, this is difficult with children in the equation.
Keeping a close eye on young children as they complete their studies is important as a parent, but you also need your own space to work effectively. Make sure that you have your own space to work even if it’s just a separate desk in the corner of the room.
If possible, confine your workspace to one area of the house that you don’t have to visit outside of work hours. Otherwise, we recommend putting all work material away at the end of each day. Have the family help you. This is an excellent way to signify the end of the workday and the start of your own time.
- Prioritise & Plan
Balancing parenthood and your workload is difficult.
A good way to keep a handle on things is to create a list of priorities every day. This way, you know what you must have completed by the end of the day and what you can push to tomorrow if necessary.
At the top of that list, should be your children. If they need you, do not feel guilty for having to step away from your work.
We recommend putting a plan in place to support your children in the best way possible. Ask how they normally spend their school days and try to replicate that structure at home to retain a sense of normality for them.
To make sure you remain flexible, re-work your plan each day.
- Get Out of the House
Although getting out of the house with young children is a mammoth task in itself, getting out to stretch your legs and get some fresh air will do everyone some good.
This could be before the workday begins, during your lunch break or in the evening. Mix it up to keep the kids interested. Stretch in the garden or plan a scavenger hunt. Go litter picking or play some ball games.
A great way for all to improve their mental and physical wellbeing! Plus, you can get rid of any pent-up energy from being inside all day!
- Call Friends & Family
Making time for calling friends and family is very important, especially for children who need interaction to thrive. Video calls are the best way to do this, so you and your family can see new faces.
Setting up a video call for your child will alleviate some pressure from your shoulders or keep them occupied while you finish work or other tasks around the house.
A friend/family member could:
- Read to your child for a few hours
- Play virtual games with them on the video calling app
- Hear about their day and what they’ve done at school
Resources that you might find useful:
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Education and childcare | GOV.UK
- Working from home tips and ideas | Parent Club
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) and parents working from with children | NSPCC
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