You might feel that working from home is not for everybody. And especially, if there are kids at home, getting work done from the confines of your home can become a bit difficult. However, with Covid-19 and the restrictions it has put on workplaces, more and more people have to work from home.
How do you make working from home work out for you if you are a mum with young children at home? Here are a few tips to help you achieve just that.
1) Have an office like setup at home
In order to do productive work at home, having a dedicated workspace in the house is necessary. If you have a spare bedroom that can be converted into a temporary office, that’s great. If not, try finding a corner where you could set up a desk and other essentials for work.
This will help everyone in the house, including the kids, to know that this is the place you will use when you have to work. It will also be a reminder to yourself to focus only on work while you are in this place.
Image source: The Improb
The space you select for working need not be fancy. A clean, clutter-free area, with all the things you need for work, should be enough to start with. If you have babies or toddlers at home, make sure that you baby-proof the area, too.
2) Define work hours for yourself
Defining work hours for yourself helps in working efficiently. It also helps to set boundaries for work time so that you can disengage at the end of the day. Depending on the nature of your work, fix time slots when you will be working, and when you will be taking breaks.
Alternatively, you can also choose to work a little late in the night after the children are in bed. Or get up early to put in a few hours of work before they wake up. Since kids need more sleep than adults, you have definite leverage here.
3) Engage the children in some activities here
Trying to work with young kids around the house can be tough. Having engaging activities planned for them while you work can give you some work time. Depending on the age and interest of the kid(s), bring in some craft papers, coloring kits, books, building blocks, etc. for them to play with. Or you could also arrange for them to have some water play or screen time.
If the kids are too young and you don’t have other adults or older children for supervision, have them sit at a place where you can see them with toys and snacks. This way, they will be kept busy for little time slots and you can get some work done.
Image source: The Tot
If the kids are too young and you don’t have other adults or older children for supervision, have them sit at a place where you can see them, coupled with some food and snacks.
4) Ask for help or hire
Work pressure can really get to you sometimes. Asking for help to look after the kids is perfectly alright. If you have older children, take their help in supervising the younger ones. If you have other grown-ups in the house, ask them for help. If you have friends or neighbors who could help, let them come over. If nothing else works, hire help.
5) It's ok not to be perfect
There are certain things that won’t be the same as they are usually. With the kids at home, things are bound to get messy. With your work priorities, you might not have the bandwidth to clean up every mess the moment it is created. So, cut yourself some slack. Try to set your priorities right. If the mess does not pose any risk to the children, cleaning it up can wait until your work deadline is met.
Mummies, you might not be extremely productive when you work from home the first few times. But that’s completely fine. Eventually, you will be able to achieve a better balance. Have a little patience and try to put all your time management skills to use. And remember that this is just a phase, and this too shall pass. Take care, mummies, and stay safe!