The Coronavirus Outbreak has literally brought the world to a standstill. The economy has slowed down while most people have become homebound! For mothers, the responsibilities have increased manifold! As a work from home mum, I always used to work when my kid used to go to school or during his art classes, but now with schools and offices closed due to the outbreak, this possibility is out of the question!
Parents who are working from home with kids around, life and work balance is certainly the biggest challenge these days! Covid19 has disrupted our lives big time! However, WinningStree goes that extra mile to help parents make the best out of this situation and work from home effectively! Presenting 5 Tips here!
Create a Schedule During Work From Home
Sticking to your normal schedule really helps for work from home mums especially at this crucial time when kids are also at home, meaning their regular schedules have already been disrupted. Holiday, no holiday, every working day should resemble a normal school day. So, get your babies up, make them eat breakfast and get freshened up as would have been the case if their schools were open. Getting the kids ready is a tedious task but once done they are ready for the day.
Assign them tasks that they can do like an art and craft project while you are working on your laptop. Get the bulk of your work completed while the kids are sleeping or while they are watching their one hour of TV time. The social lockdown can last for months as it seems and it will thus be best for us moms to get going with our individual schedules.
Partner It’s Your Turn
Mostly all companies have given work from home requisitions to all their employees which means most likely your spouse is also working from home. Alternating shifts with your partner can make remote working quite possible and easier. Let your husband make breakfast or get the kids ready for a change while you enjoy your uninterrupted work time. Keep gifting each other such switched shifts with the kids and maximize your productivity.
If at all the possibility of your better half to contribute to these switched shifts isn’t possible then emphasize more on a stricter schedule and stick to some additional planning to make it work. As a work from home mom, I understand it will be tough but not entirely impossible.
Speak Up & Ask for Help from Your Colleagues
Don’t be ashamed of highlighting the fact to your colleagues that you are juggling between various roles when at home. This makes them better prepared and also shows you as a transparent and honest employee. Recently, a video of a kid walking in while a person was taking a video conference call surfaced the Internet. The person could be seen pushing his little one away until the nanny crawled in and took the babies out, while he apologized to his team.
Though the video seemed funny, it was a little too harsh on the kids’ part. It is absolutely ok to be open about your household requirements to your colleagues while working from home. Kids make a home worth living and do look up to their parents as their safest zone on earth. Let them not be shown your discomfort at having them home. If this means that they walk up in between a meeting and you attend to them, it should be fine. Try having more casual meetings and fewer formal meetings to work this through.
Take breaks even if you are working from home and your productivity levels are less. The pressure to complete tasks might actually want you to overextend your shifts but it is equally critical to take out time for a break. Taking a break makes you refreshed, and ready to get back to work. Breaks are a need when working from home. After every hour that you work, a 10-minute breather for a hot cup of coffee or to check on the kids or some self-care is a must to unplug yourself and then reset.
Again, communication comes really handy here as informing your colleagues or your Boss of your away time in advance gives time for arrangements. Support, coverage or planning at work all depends on a schedule that you can abide by and breaks should always be a part of this schedule.
With Work From Home Prepare Your Children
Communicating with your children is equally crucial to make them understand their boundaries. This is a one-off situation where the entire nation stands stranded thus one-off arrangements can always be part of the plan. Some extra TV time or playtime to keep the kids occupied and you going on with your work is an absolute yes! Having said that, the kids should know that this is a temporary arrangement and not all good things last forever.
Kids should also be taught when moms are busy or when they are free to talk amidst work. A work from home mum is working from home and does not have a designated office space and thus always needs an uninterrupted quiet space for work. Kids should be responsible from a younger age and know their limits. While being flexible we should also make our offsprings more understanding about the do’s and don’ts of a work from home parent.
The pandemic has set up a new rhythm of life for both working parents and their children, and all of us are braving a remote zone currently. While parents are learning to cope up with remote working abilities, so are their children. Focus, self-discipline, and patience can definitely take us through these tough times of social distancing and lockdown.
Be Safe & Be Alert Everyone. This phase too shall pass soon. Till then enjoy catching up with your kids and give them some more time than you usually give them and take care of your health.