Working remotely is not easy
Being a working parent is not always easy. There is the constant morning rush to get everyone ready for school and work, packing lunches and preparing breakfast, followed by the commute to work. This can sometimes make you feel drained and exhausted by the end of the work day. Furthermore, many working parents often face the challenge of needing to work from home during school holidays. Time off is not always possible, which means that even though you can skip the daily commute and work from home using your Internet connection and personal computer, there is the added responsibility of taking care of your children as well during work time. Don’t stress just yet. Have a look at these four top tips for working remotely. Hopefully they will help you make the most of this time and ensure your children get to spend some quality time with you too!
1. Explain how you have to work from home
For all parents working from home it is not always easy to make your child understand this. However, it is important to try. Sit down with your little one and explain that even though you are at home, you still need to do some work. Affirm that you will still have loads of playtime and fun when you take a break. One useful tip is to create a “clock chart” with a little arrow that you can stick on different sections. For instance, add some pictures showing a computer that you can point the little arrow to. Alternatively, it could be an image of a book that indicates there will be story time when you take a break. This will help make your little ones feel loved and wanted.
2. Set time aside for playtime
Tip number two is to set aside shared playtimes during periods of working remotely. This is as important for parents as it is for their children. It can be easy to get so bogged down with working at home that time to rest takes a backseat. However, even though you are working remotely, it is important to take breaks, especially when little ones need some mum and dad time too! Get outside for some ball throwing and kicking, bake some cookies or do a fun scrapbook album project together. This is a perfect opportunity to connect with your child and create memories also.
3. Indicate boundaries when working remotely
This is important to do, but can be a tough one for younger children to grasp. They might feel they are in the way and a nuisance, or get stressed because mum or dad is unavailable. Of course, they are not in the way and you need to help them understand that when you are working remotely, you must get certain tasks done. So, make use of subtle, delicate cues. For instance, put headphones on to listen to soft background music so that they know you are working (but, of course, can help them when they need a snack or a glass of milk). Or, if you want to add a little fun, put on a quirky hat – this will be your “working hat”. Indicate that when the hat is on, you are working and must not be interrupted.
4. Last but not least: don't show your frustration
As a parent working from home, you are only human and will at some point feel a little frustrated when your workload increases over school holidays with both work and parent duties. That said, try to not show your frustration or, even worse, make your children feel that they are the reason for your frustration. If you feel frustration bubbling to the surface, get up from your chair, make some tea and take a breather. It is normal to feel this way, but do not let it get the better of you.
So there you have it, 4 useful tips for working remotely during school holidays.