Thursday, May 14, 2020

Tips for working from home with kids

In these unprecedented times, many of us are fortunate to be able to work from home. This can mean changes to our work schedules, but for many, it means sharing a space with children and other family members. Our Modern Family Engagement Resource Group put together these tips for navigating a busy and full home during quarantine. 

  • Arrange your schedule so it suits you. Block out times when you will be unavailable and openly communicate that schedule with your team.
  • Be protective of your family time. If being available for an 8:00am meeting doesn’t work for your family, block it as Do Not Schedule.
  • Use rituals to start the day – for both you and your kids. For example: making the bed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth and getting dressed.
  • Set up Facetime/Skype/Zoom calls for kids to connect with grandparents, aunt/uncles etc. This is a win-win situation because the adults love to check in on what kids are doing and it gives us, as parents a break. Think of it as sort of like “virtual babysitting.”

Set the Stage
  • Designate specific spaces for both school and work.
  • Have a “morning meeting” as a family where everyone can talk about their day and everyone’s various schedules. Schedule focused time with kids during gaps in your schedule. For example, Mom has a Zoom call from 9-10 and 1-3. She has availability to help with homework and get lunch going from 10-1.
  • Lower the bar, professionally, when your kids are with you. For some, this means working abbreviated hours one day or week and more consistently during the times their kids are with another caregiver or napping.
  • Set the stage with workmates during Zoom meetings and calls, “My kids are home...”  This new environment has us all blending our work lives and our home lives and many of us find that endearing.

  • Set boundaries – in space and time. It is okay to say ‘no.’
  • Take self-care breaks throughout the day – for workouts, walks, naps, meditation etc. Choose the self-care that best suits you and helps regenerate your mind and body!
  • Take time off from electronics – both kids and parents.
  • Take time off from school and work – take a “staycation.”
  • Limit or schedule time to check news/social media. Avoid checking before bed as it causes unnecessary anxiety and we need our rest now more than ever!
  • Talk about highs and lows of the day as family at dinner or before bedtime. This allows space for kids and adults to feel all feelings.
  • Journal thoughts, feelings and experiences during this unprecedented time. You may want to look back on it someday.

Overall, focus on what you can control.