Working from home sounds like a great idea in many ways. Who wouldn't want to stay home in their pajamas all day? Or to skip the commute to work? Unfortunately, trying to be productive in the same place in which you and your family live often presents even more challenges than going to the office. This is especially true for parents with young children. Consider a handful of tips that may help you to parent your children well while also keeping your boss happy.
1. Create Your Own Space
One of the most important things you can do to foster a productive environment at home is to create your own office space. As you brainstorm about where you could hunker down to work each day, be sure to choose a spot that is not a busy area in your home. A desk in the living room, for example, might lead to frequent interruptions and distractions.
2. Find a Rhythm
While creating a cozy office space sounds nice, you may be wondering how you will find the time to retreat to this area to focus on your work assignments. Depending on your child-care situation and the flexibility of your job, your work routine may be very different from a typical office schedule. This is ok. Find a rhythm that works for you and your family. For example, if you have a young child who takes several naps throughout the day, these might be good times for you to complete some work. Early in the morning is also usually a quiet time to focus on a project.
3. Keep Kids Entertained
4. Minimize Distractions
Kids are not the only thing that may take your attention away from work assignments. With all of the technology available in most homes, not to mention the refrigerator, it is easy to lose focus. One simple way of reducing distractions is to put away your phone and turn off any televisions or radios that may vie for your attention. Additionally, it can be helpful to start the day with a clear desk, a drink and any supplies you may need so that you can avoid having to make trips to other rooms in your house when you should be working.
5. Ask for Help
As you work to find the right work-life balance for you and your family, remember to show yourself some grace. Trying to wear two hats at the same time is no easy feat. It may not be practical to expect yourself to accomplish the same number of tasks as you normally would in a day. Additionally, it is ok to ask for help. Consider reaching out to a babysitter or family member who may be able to help you with your kids when you have a big deadline approaching.
Despite its many challenges, you will find a good rhythm in your at-home work routine in time. You may even find that it is preferable to going to the office. It's hard to beat those pajamas, isn't it?