Working From Home With Kids
If you find yourself dreaming of a life where you can work at home and spend more time with your children, then your idea may be more fantasy than reality. It is, in fact, very difficult to both work from home and look after your children at the same time.
Here are some tips for making that dream real, and making it work for both you and your kids.
You’ll Still Need Childcare
Working from home is not the solution to the rising costs of child care, unfortunately. Looking after your children is a fulltime job in itself, so you can’t expect to work fulltime at the same time without any help. Working at home will reduce the hours you spend commuting and increase your flexibility, but you’ll still need a childcare solution.
Either find someone appropriate to work in your home or find somewhere nearby that works for you. This will make sure that you can separate work and family time.
Have a Dedicated Workspace
Whether you’re working full or part time from home, you need to have a space dedicated to that endeavour. You don’t necessarily have to have an office room, but a desk and chair that is solely for working is essential. Ideally, it should be out of the way, in a quiet part of the house, where you’re unlikely to be disturbed – and where the rest of the family knows that you’re working and shouldn’t be interrupted.
On those days where you can’t separate childcare and your work – which will inevitably happen, keep an eye on your children while you work through CCTV surveillance like this from JMC Secure, which will make working and looking after your children a little bit easier.
Have a ‘Working Day’
For a parent, this is probably best during the day, when your kids are with your childcare solution, but it should be whenever you work best.
You should create a schedule (as opposed to a to-do list) so that you know when you should stop working.
Talk to Others
Whether you’re working from home for a company, or you’re working freelance alone, you need to talk to people other than your family during the day. You could make lunch plans with a friend, check in with your boss or colleague daily or go to a networking event.
If you’re just working from home, it’s important to get feedback too. Both for your confidence and your standard of work, regular communication through a variety of different methods will mean that you’re not left out of team discussions, and you’re an active part of the company, which can be a risk when you work at home.
If you’re freelance, regular communication with clients is important too, but it’s also essential to talk to someone about your day (other than your partner or family). Try getting out of the house and working in a café or a library or going regularly to a club or class.