Working From Home …. Tips From a Father.
Working from home with kids in the house? No problem!
I have worked from my home office for over 5 years now and I absolutely love it. But it does require certain disciplines and these become more important when you also have children at home.
I have a three year old (Mabel) that is usually in daycare but she will now be staying home with me over the next few weeks.
And that is great! Absolutely fine …. as we discovered last summer when Mabel stayed home with Dad for a few weeks.
Some simple tips for those now working from home with young children:
- Make sure you create a dedicated office space to do your work. Close your door when needed. Explain these boundaries to your children.
- Wake up every morning and get ready for work like you would if you were going to your work office. This creates a better mindset for you and a reminder for your children.
- Establish home office hours (and incorporate meal and play times). These will usually be 9 to 5 (when your clients are also at work) but consider working an extra hour in the early morning and/or evening when the children are asleep. This will be a very productive extra hour …. but strictly limit this extra hour as it can become easy to ONLY work during these early/late hours.
- During office hours aim to occupy your children with fun and interesting activities they can do themselves. Celebrate, reward and display their efforts so they can see the benefits of their work and understand the value of this time.
- Consider ways your children can “assist” you. I shared my office from time to time on a limited basis (as seen in the photo) but I preoccupied Mabel with “office tasks”.
- Play their favorite movie or TV show but DON’T let this be your “babysitter” as it’s not healthy and they become desensitized to it. Make it a treat.
- It is critical to maintain a daily routine including set meal and nap times (for the kids of course). Be consistent every day. Children love routine. Take time out to formally have lunch with your children every day. Make sure they have a nap at a set time each day as there is plenty you can do during this time ….. including taking a quiet break for yourself.
- Dedicate some time to play with your kids. Alternate work and play. This may “shorten” your work day but it allows you to set parameters, manage their expectations and become MORE productive during work time.
- Let your clients know that you are working from home …. with your kids. This will explain any “surprise interruptions” rather than have you doing the “shhhhhh dance” with your children every time you are on the phone and they want your attention. Your clients will understand, as long as you promptly follow up if you have to unexpectedly end the phone meeting.
There is plenty more information and advice available on the internet to help you better manage how you work from home. I encourage you to keep researching, but please consider these simple tips that have enabled me to become highly productive from my home office.
Article written by Joe Micallef – Sales Strategist & Coach – Grow UP Sales. For more advice on how to work from home please email email@example.com or visit the webpage www.growupsales.com
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