How to Work From Home with Kids During a Pandemic

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Give it up for all you parents out there who amidst the global COVID-19 crisis have not only transitioned into working from home, but are also embracing (and trying to balance) being a full time parent to your little ones! Bravo!

As with so many situations that have arisen as a direct effect of Corona Virus, we are all trying our best to adapt to new and demanding expectations. For many, this includes adding the role of full time parent and teacher on top of the day to day. To us that sounds like an impossible job so we wanted to get some advice for those of you who are still figuring things out from Paula Gibson, PA at Marsh & McLennan, Mum to Emilia and Co-Founder of Mummy platform @OutWithMum.

With her top 5 tips below on how to manage working from home with your kids, we salute every working parent for doing your best, keep going!

1. Manage expectations with your employer. The positive thing about working from home with kids right now is that a lot of us are in the same boat. Being clear with your employer about your situation at home is really important. Letting them know that you are juggling your family life and work gives reason to why it may take longer to respond to emails or why calls might need to be at a certain time (eg. when your child is napping). 

2. Establish a daily routine within your household. Being a little flexible at this time can be really helpful. Sending the kids to bed earlier or letting them sleep in a little in the morning could give you much needed time to check emails and complete tasks undisturbed. If both parents are working from home, dividing up the day so that each parent has time to focus on their work is key. This might mean you and your partner have different lunch times each so you can book in those important calls and have time alone in the middle of the day. Or schedule them in when your children are napping or doing arts and crafts / participating in their school classes online. 

3. Create a stress-free area for working. There are endless distractions staring you in the face at home so if you can, create an area with your computer just for you. I tend to listen to music so I can focus better but perhaps there’s a corner of the home that’s a little quieter than the rest? Try to create this as a child-free zone. Where possible, create spaces so your little ones can successfully have their play time or do their school tasks too. 

4. Put boundaries in place when it comes to your time. Aim to stick to the hours of work as you would if you were going into an office each day. If you say you are going to send your last email at 6pm then make sure it is your last. Your kids and partner deserve your undivided attention at some point during the day, you just need to decide when that will be. 

5. Strike a balance. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Start the day with a Joe Wicks’ workout or find an online yoga class you can enjoy with your child. Living altogether under one roof 24/7 can be stressful for any family, but this is a truly unique time we are living in. Where you can, remember to treasure these moments and make the most of quality time together by proactively including fun activities / exercise in your daily schedule as well as blocks of time dedicated to your work tasks.     

Written in partnership with Paula Gibson, Personal Assistant at Marsh & McLennan Companies, Mum to Emilia and co-founder of @OutWithMum