It can be hard to find the right groove when it comes to working from home with a child, but there are many tricks you can use to help. Adjust your expectations and know that people are very eager to see you succeed.
Talk to Your Manager About Specific Needs
Be open and honest with your boss about your needs. For example, if you need to take your child to swim lessons every Thursday at 2:00 p.m., let your manager know. That way, you won’t be expected to be in two places at once — the dropoff line and your weekly one-on-one, for instance.
Create a “Work” Schedule — For Both of You
It’s no secret that children thrive with routines and schedules. Try creating a “work” schedule for you — and your child — that you can put up somewhere prominent in your home. Include your own meetings as well as your child’s responsibilities, and don’t forget breaks! For example, you may schedule a meeting from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., when your child should be having independent reading time. Then, put lunch together on the schedule at noon! You’ll likely hear fewer complaints if your child can look at the schedule and see that time with you is coming.
Designate Work and Play Areas
If you’re able, designate a home office where your child knows you go to get work done. At the same time, make it clear that there are certain zones, such as the playroom or backyard, where you’re available for fun. Ensuring that your child doesn’t take over your office for play means fewer distractions and more productivity. And if you need to hold virtual meetings from your home office but don’t have an ideal background, remember you can use the Google Meet virtual background extension to present the professional environment you wish you had.
Create Pockets of Time To Concentrate on Tasks
Many parents find success creating pockets of time throughout the day to concentrate on tasks. For example, maybe you get up an hour earlier than your child just to respond to work email or create your to-do list. Or perhaps your child has a designated weekly time to talk to a grandparent. This may be an ideal time to concentrate on your slides for the team meeting you’re leading later in the week. (Don’t forget to add virtual background in Teams to help your employees feel more engaged and cohesive!)
Relax Screen Time Rules
Remember that screen time isn’t the enemy. If your child previously had to limit themselves to an hour of screen time but a meeting goes long and they end up getting two, don’t sweat it. Compensate by adding more together time to talk about what they learned. You might also help your child see that screen time can bring people together, such as when an immersive view backgrounds download lets your team feel like they are all in the same room.
Ask for Help
Finally, know that It’s impossible for anyone to do it all. Especially if you’re a new parent, remember to ask for help. Family members, friends, and neighbors likely all want you to succeed. Don’t hesitate to make requests — the worst they can do is say no.