Anyone who is trying to simultaneously work from home and look after their children right now knows that it is not easy! It's a testing time for us all but we've put together some top tips to help you manage the situation!
1. Explain the situation
Hold a family meeting to explain how your job works and establish boundaries. Make sure they understand while you are at home, you do have to work.
Set up a system whereby you have a ‘do not disturb’ sign, and if this is on the door the children can’t come in - tell them to pass a note under the door or send a text if this sign is up and they need something.
This could be handy for phone calls, online meetings and if you just want to focus with no interruptions.
2. Have a routine
Sticking to a routine can not only help you get more work done, but it can help settle the kids away from school. Get everyone up at a certain time, eat breakfast, and then start your workday.
Take 10-minute breaks to check-in, have lunch together and finish work at the same time each day.
Have family activities planned for after work - build Lego together, craft or sit down to watch a film.
3. Plan activities which don’t require your supervision
Depending on the age of your children, there are a wealth of activities you could plan to keep them busy while you work.
Whether this is making sure they keep up with their schoolwork, allowing them time on a tablet or their gaming console or finding an educational TV show to watch, drawing pictures, writing short stories and - if you’re lucky - tidying bedrooms can also be a way to keep kids busy.
4. If there’s noise - don’t get stressed
As the whole world adjusts to a different schedule, there are bound to be interruptions and teething issues. Explain to whomever you’re talking to on the phone, Skype or Google Hangouts that your children are at home. This means if someone comes barging in or a fight breaks out in the room next door no one is surprised by the sound
5. Reward good behaviour
If they have sat quietly during your meeting, completed their schoolwork or are just behaving well - reward them!
Allow TV time, do a fun activity like baking or crafting together or even create a reward chart with treats of your choosing after they reach a target you choose.
This could also work for making sure the household jobs get done - washing up, bedroom tidying, cleaning up their toys etc.