I have worked remotely for years while also being a mom. Between work and keeping the kids busy I have developed systems and routines that keep things flowing. Since we have almost all temporarily joined the work from home workforce and if we have kids we are also a part time teacher this is a unique time for all of us.
Here are a few tips to hopefully make work from home more successful.
- Acknowledge this isn’t normal
Working remotely isn’t the norm for most people and this situation isn’t even normal for those of us who typically work from home. That means that our usual work/life boundaries and well laid plans need to be flexible. Giving yourself and your virtual team a little understanding and grace will make things easier.
- Divide and conquer
Just like any big task it is usually better to work as a team. In our current situation of home becoming school and office we all need to work together to divide and conquer. If there are two adults in the house consider splitting duties. Set a schedule where one person works while the other is in charge of the kids and then switch off. Decide what works best for you – maybe it is 2 hour shifts or one has days and one has evenings.
- Create a workspace
It might be tempting to plop down on the couch with your computer, but you will get a lot more done if you designate a workspace that isn’t crowded with distractions such as TV. Make sure that you have everything you need within arms reach, a comfortable place to sit, good light to work, and if possible a little distance from everyone else so you can concentrate.
- Give the kids a space
This isn’t the first time I’ve had to maintain a normal work day while having the kids at home so thankfully I’ve had a little experience with our current situation. While you have your workspace the kids also need their space. Set them up with an area to do their art projects, school work and have fun. Giving them something to take ownership of will help keep them out of your hair and hopefully let you get more done.
- Include the kids
I love including my children in my work – telling them what I’m working on, asking their opinion on stuff, showing them projects as they come together. They love it too and it makes work feel more like an important part of my life in a good way and less like “work”.
- Routine is king
When I first started working from home many years ago the first thing I learned was that even though I was my own boss I still needed a routine. When you are in an office you have your normal day to day structure and you need to create your own modus operandi when you work from home. Over the years I’ve found I’m most productive whenI act like I’m leaving the house and going to work. Get up shower and dress (in real clothes) and you’ll be in the mindset to work instead of lounge like it’s a day off work.
Working remotely takes a little planning and practice and our new situation makes it even more interesting for all of us. If this is your first time working from home just figure out what works for you and hopefully some of these tips will make things run a little more smoothly. Remember we are all in this together!
About the Author: Ashley Robinson is a professional blogger and Content Strategist and a work from home mom of two.