Two adorable children crash their dad’s BBC-TV interview while he works from home. It became a viral internet sensation, and everyone got a good laugh. Now, it’s not a one-off instance, as work-from-home parents are doing their 9–to–5 while helping kids “attend” school — all under the same roof.
With most schools out through April, try these tips to make navigating this uncharted territory a little easier:
- Establish working hours
We’re all in this together: Managers, employees and teams are working remotely and understand the need to create a new normal. Let your coworkers know there will be certain times of the day you’re unavailable to respond to email or participate in conference calls.
Your family needs to have the same understanding. Let your kids know you have certain tasks to complete, but once you do, you’ll check on them. If you’ve got younger kids, help them start a puzzle or coloring project before you jump on a call. Remember to and thank them for their help and reward your older kids with extra video game or screen time.
- Create a schedule
Take the advice of your children’s teachers when it comes to a daily schedule, use resources they send you and follow the lesson plans they create. Resources like Homeschool On offer free printable schedules and the Today Show features a variety of resources and educational videos. Check out Zoom, Loom, Marco Polo, Facebook Live, ABC Mouse and other apps for collaboration, communication and online learning.
- Take breaks
At the office, you’d probably get up and stretch, get a coffee or refill your water bottle and talk with co-workers. Make sure you’re taking those same breaks throughout the day — for yourself and your kids. Go outside if the weather is nice and take a lunch break. Treat the weekend and spring break like a real break from the routine — don’t do schoolwork.
- Lean on your virtual village
Your kids’ friends are in the same boat. Arrange virtual playdates or study sessions so they can help each other with assignments. Have your children participate if teachers schedule Zoom calls, chats and volunteering online to provide free lessons. Schedule calls with family members, and stay connected to friends and co-workers by participating in virtual happy hours.
- Give yourself some grace
Now is the time to let go of those self-imposed pressures and expectations, define new goals for what you need to achieve in the new environment, and schedule regular connects with coworkers, friends or family. Remember each child is different — what works for one may not work for another – the key is to create some type of consistency, be available to your children and embrace the changes.
Learn more about balancing work and kids at home:
- Supporting individuals with autism during uncertain times
- Working from home with kids around
- Free internet service: Comcast, Spectrum
- Learning resources for home from school (by grade)
- Stay fit while working from home
- Make your workspace your workspace more productive,
- Help your employees navigate the coronavirus quarantine
- Stay connected with your team.