1. Create a schedule
Children respond well to a routine; a schedule will allow you allocate ‘together time’ and ‘work time’ where independent play is required. Create a schedule for you and also one for your children. Block out time for: breakfast, lunch, naps and children’s activities. This will allow to you section off parts of your working day.
Schedule highest priority work tasks when children are asleep and/or quiet. This may mean completing work after hours because during the day you blocked out time to spend with your children.
When engaging with your colleagues online, don’t panic if they interrupt, introduce them to the team and explain that you’re in a meeting. It is important to liaise with team members at work so they’re aware that you’re online before or after hours. Clear communication is key as to when you’re online and available should that vary from your usual business hours.
Have your own morning routine; settle the children – take the necessary time to organise the day for the children to limit interruptions. Be sure to get dressed and ready for the day, it will help to put you into ‘work mode’.
5. Designated workspace
Have a designated workspace in your home, not everyone has the luxury of a separate office. Wherever your workspace is, even if it is just a laptop on the kitchen table, make it clear to your children when you’re sitting in your ‘work chair’ you’re at work. Clear communication is important, so your children are aware little to no interruptions whilst you’re in your workspace.
6. Keep busy
Have a list of experiences ready to go when you have work emergencies. Our Explorers @ Home is a great way to keep the children entertain with plenty of inspiration for at home experiences. These types of experiences are independent play based, so your little one will be occupied while you deal with your work emergency.
7. Involve the children
When you can, involve your children in your workday so they feel included and important. In down time at work, invite children to sit next to you in your workspace to draw or colour in whilst finishing off work emails
8. Don’t multitask
To maximise efficiency, write a daily ‘to do’ list and complete one task at a time. Plan time with the children to play a game or go for a walk to help burn off the children’s energy.
Try not to juggle several things at once whilst trying to keep an eye on your children. Have set breaks from work, e.g have lunch with children and give them your undivided attention.
9. Time limits
Have set time limits to complete tasks for work and your children. Be sure to communicate the blocks of time with your children.
10. Accept things won’t go perfectly
These are a few tips to help productivity and efficiency whilst working from home and looking after children. However, things won’t always go to plan, remember that they are still little, still learning and need a lot of attention.