Tips for Balancing Working & Parenting from Home
Who remembers this video from a few years back of a BBC News source who was working from home when his kids unexpectedly popped in during the broadcast?
There was an unexpected distraction for Professor Robert Kelly when he was being interviewed live on BBC News about South Korea. Credit: BBC News
Can you relate? Welcome to the new normal!
With many schools now closed through the remainder of the school year, parents must now juggle working from home while also supervising kids full time.
Unable to delegate schoolwork, send kids outside to play with friends, or rely on planned activities to help break up their day, parents are facing real challenges as they try to oversee their kids’ educations, juggle all the usual household responsibilities, and adjust to working from home.
Many of our full-time-remote staff have kids at home full-time now, too, and we asked for their top tips on how to manage it all – read on for our top tips on balancing the new normal of supporting and supervising kids while working from home.
Our Top Tips for Working from Home – with Kids!
Try to Keep a Routine
“Depending on age(s), remote learning can have its own challenges for kids. Keeping a routine can be a big help as you navigate this new ‘normal.’ Have your kids complete assignments as soon as the lesson is completed to keep schoolwork from piling up. This a great teaching moment around time management, adaptability, and organization – seize it! Sage advice from my son’s PE teacher is, have the kids document in a journal daily. My kids have to journal, timestamp and photograph what they do to physically, socially and mentally exercise each day, and I think they’re actually enjoying it.”
– Diane J., Customer Success Team – Belgium, EU
Plan “Together Time” During the Day
“If you have little ones at home, try to give yourself some time to spend time with them throughout the day. Whether its eating lunch together, taking an afternoon walk, or just setting up a work space so you can be close by while they play, it’s important to prioritize time with your kids, and can help them feel more ‘normal’ during this stressful and unusual time. Working from home can often blur the lines of set ‘office hours,’ so you have to be sure to consciously enforce them for yourself.”
– Loree J., Customer Success Team – Texas, USA
Be Patient with Yourself & Others
"Be patient with yourself and others — yes, kids are going to interrupt your virtual meeting. Personally, some of the background chaos that inevitably arises with kids (or dogs) at home is the highlight of my day. Just this week I heard a very young voice say, ‘You’re trying my patience,’ in the background of a team check-in meeting. The indignation in his little voice was priceless, and everyone had a good laugh, which is something we could all use a little more of right now.”
– Denise B., Marketing Team – Connecticut, USA
Give Yourself Time to Decompress
“When the end of your workday arrives, get yourself to a stopping place, then give yourself another 10-to-20 minute buffer for coming out of your work mindset. I live with my wife and our two-year-old, and walking out of my work office and straight into that world can sometimes lead to frustration for everyone. It's important that I give myself that buffer time to decompress and get into the right head space to make the most of family time. Everyone has bad days at work, but when you have a bad day at work at home, it can lead to a bad day for everyone.”
–Dale W., Product Management Team – Florida, USA
Be Realistic with Your Expectations
“Be honest with yourself and your boss about work expectations and set aside time to help manage the kids. Your manager will understand that remote schooling needs some supervision, lunches need to be made, sibling disputes need to be settled, and kids just need more of your time these days."
– David D., Sales Team – Florida, USA
Mix it Up & Get Everyone Involved
“Find fun ways to mix things up for your kids, like creating a scavenger hunt for them (and, if they’re old enough, having them create one for you!), working on a puzzle together, or exploring some of the many great online learning resources available (like the ones listed below). Try to get the whole family involved — not only in fun activities, but also in keeping the home running smoothly. After all, more people at home means more mess, too!”
– Leslie F., Executive Team – North Carolina, USA
We hope these tips are helpful as you manage this “new normal” of working from home with kids — we also wanted to share some of our favorite online resources and educational materials for kids.
Our favorite online resources
Since we’re a technology company, we’d
be remiss if we didn’t include our favorite
resources for teaching kids to code:
If you’re not sure you can get your kids interested in
coding (and some hidden math),
try Pixar in a Box!
At Xyleme, we’re committed to helping our partners succeed in an ever-changing learning ecosystem, and we’ve been empowering organizations to create, publish, deliver, manage, maintain and analyze learning content more effectively since 2004.