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7 Tips for Working from Home With Kids During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Due to the current situation in the world, people everywhere are on lockdown. This means that you have to switch from working from the office to working at home. Even though that’s a dream come true for many, it’s a difficult challenge for others who have families and little children at home. Kids don’t really understand you’re working and think you’re available for fun and attention simply because you’re home.

Working with children at home can seem impossible, but is actually very doable. You just need to find the perfect balance with your personal and work life now that they’re meshed together. Thanks to these tips, you’ll be able to stay productive from your home office and have your kids under control in no time.

1. Divide your work

If you have flexible work hours now that you’re working from home, there’s no reason not to divide your work during the day. This is especially helpful for those with really small children at home. You can do two hours of work in the morning, then take a two-hour break and devote it to your kids. Once the break is up, it’s time to do another couple of hours of work.

Depending on how big your kids are, you can divide your workload into as many sections as you need. The tricky part of this arrangement is finding tasks that you can complete in a given amount of time. That’s why another way to organize your workload is by the amount of time needed for each task. Think of fun activities that last for as long as those tasks that your kids can do independently and you’ll be on top of your schedule.

2. Have a workday together

Your kids just want to spend time with you and do what you do. This is why you can include them in your workday without actually including them. In other words, make working from home a family workday. You can give them fake office assignments and tell them you’re all working together. More often than not, kids just want to help you but end up making things worse. By giving them assignments they think are important, they’ll actually feel like they’re doing something to help you.

In truth they will be, but not because of what they think. Instead of doing important business for you, they’ll actually be getting out of your way and making it easy for you to get your work done.

3. Talk to them

Even though it seems impossible that they’ll listen, you can always try talking to your kids and explaining the situation to them. We tend to underestimate children and how they take in information. This means that we often dumb things down for them and leave out the truth. In other cases, it means we simply bark orders at them because we’re too frustrated to actually talk to them. This is the kind of situation where communication is essential for the new arrangement to work.

Sit your kids down and tell them what’s going on it the world. Tell them why you need to work from home and explain to them how this is going to affect your family life. They should understand exactly how the day will go on and when they can hang out with you. This will make them feel safer and more comfortable with the new situation. On top of that, it will make them feel less neglected because they’ll be able to grasp the concept and point of what you are saying.

To help them cope with the new situation and respect you working from home, you can come up with clear rules that they’ll need to follow. For example, they can only talk to you and ask for what they want during your lunch break. To make this work, it’s advised to structure their day and routine as well as your own.

4. Keep them physically occupied

One sure way to get some peace is to keep your kids physically occupied. You can do this with various DIY projects for kids. Once they’re engaged in an interesting project, they’ll forget all about you and your work. Being invisible is the best thing that can happen to you when you’re trying to work for home. In fact, it’s the only way to get things done in some households.

One of the best and most interesting projects you can engage your kids in is to let them convert the living room into a giant fort. This will take them most of the afternoon to complete, it will give them somewhere new and fun to play in, and it will tire them out in the process.

Use up all the pillows and blankets you can find. The couch and couch cushions can be used for structural support, while their blanket and pillow kingdom reigns below. The best part is that it will probably take them a couple of times to get things just right, thus prolonging the building process and giving you more time to work in peace.

Once the fort is set up, they’ll be very excited to play in it and discover all the comfort it has to offer. You can let them watch movies and bring their toys inside, too. If you want to make it really special, hang some fairy lights on the inside or add a small disco ball. This will keep them occupied for longer and give them something other than you to focus on.

5. Provide entertainment

If your kids are entertained, they won’t feel the need to come to you every two seconds. There are various ways you can keep your kids occupied and entertained during the workday. One of the easiest ones is to turn on the TV or give them your tablet or phone to play with. Theses solutions are only short-term, though. On top of that, they might not be as good for their development as other methods.

If you want to entertain your kids in a way that challenges their intellect and creativity, give them something valuable to do. For example, you can introduce them to quirky puzzles or brain twisters. You can try finding interesting books for them online, or you can take advantage of the many free museum and art gallery tours online.

These things might sound too sophisticated and complicated for kids, but they have real power to open up your kids’ minds to new ideas and concepts. If you think they’ll find these activities boring, you can always try to introduce them to the virtual world on Google maps. Show them how to work street view and let them walk the streets of major world cities. You can suggest they play pretend and plan their next vacation this way.

6. Start your day off on the right note

Starting the day off on the right note is key to having a successful and productive workday at home with the kids around. Get up before your kids and avoid all the chaos of your usual mornings at least for a little while. Have some alone time with a healthy breakfast and turn to your espresso coffee machine for a fresh cup of coffee. These two simple things will help wake up your mind and motivate you to get things going. As well as that, they’ll give you time to mentally prepare for the day and tackling your kids.

By the time your little ones are up, you’ll be fully awake and ready to feed them and get them ready for the day. This is also a good time to spend some quality time with the kids as you eat, as you’ll have a little bit of time before you get to work. That will make your kids feel engaged and more connected to you, making them ask for less attention when you’re sitting down and working.

After breakfast’s done, simply proceed with your day just like you were going to the office. Your kids need to understand that just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can hang out with them all day. Breakfast is your chance to set a clear barrier between work and home life. Use it wisely.

7. Physically distance yourself

If it’s possible, choose a different room from the one where your kids hang out to do your work. The physical distance will help your kids take the situation more seriously and understand that you still have a job. While you’re at the office, they’re used to not seeing you and they accept this fact because it’s easier for them to grasp you’re at work when you’re not home.

Your home office should be completely sectioned off from the family room. If you can’t devote a whole room to your own home office, you can always use the bedroom for it. Of course, there are some cases where the layout of the house simply doesn’t allow you to use a whole room for a home office.

Don’t worry, it’s still possible to have some physical distance even in a situation like this. The most important thing you can do here is to create physical boundaries between your office space and the rest of the family room. Rearrange the furniture, use decoration, or section off the room with dividers. Whatever you choose, it will help your kids understand that there is indeed a difference between the two parts of the room. This will make them bother and interrupt you less, especially if they can’t see you. Another benefit of a layout like this is that you can monitor your kids without being overbearing or taking a break off work.

Conclusion

As you can see, working from home with your kids around is entirely possible. It may be hard in the beginning, but soon enough you’ll feel like you’re back at the office. You don’t have to create a strong gap between you and your children just to have some discipline in the house. Thanks to these tips, you’ll still be in charge while keeping a close relationship with your little ones. We’re confident these tips will help you achieve the perfect balance and improve both your work and personal life.

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