As the coronavirus continues to spread through the UK and the rest of the world, most people who are used to going to work in an office suddenly face the reality of working from home.
Earlier in the week, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked people to stay in their homes and to only travel for four main reasons, to go to work (if absolutely necessary), to do food shopping, to seek medical attention and to do one form of exercise per day.
Meanwhile, schools across the UK have closed their doors to all children – except those of key workers! This has meant that the majority of families are now going to be spending a lot of time stuck in the house together.
The prospect of working from home seems idyllic for most people but in reality juggling work commitments and a house full of children and pets can be daunting. I think one moment that springs to everyones mind is the classic BBC interview with Robert Kelly when his two young children come walking into his home office!
What can you do if you need to work from home with your children around? Here are some tips:
Establish a routine
Both children and adults alike thrive on routines so it is important to set out some kind of structure for the day including regular breaks.
Communicate with your partner
If you live in a two-parent household, it is important to discuss your workload with one another so that you can establish how your working days are going to run alongside taking care of your children.
Make the most of nap time (if you have one)
If your children are still taking naps during the day, then this can free up an hour – or two or three – of uninterrupted time to work
Have a designated workspace
Some parents don’t have the option of a separate space, but for those who do a designated spot to spend your working day can help boost productivity and focus.
Use technology to your advantage
With children now at home during what was once the traditional working and school week, parents are expected to become part professional entertainers and teachers, as well as fulfilling their work commitments.
Use technology to your advantage. There are lots of apps and games that are both entertaining and educational, but also plenty of programmes on TV and Netflix during the current situation there are lots of apps and programmes offering free access.
Be honest with your employer
During such an uncertain time, it is important to be honest with yourself and those you work with. Once you have established a schedule that works, don’t be afraid to discuss it with your boss and let them know that you are keen to find a way for this to work for both of you.
Focus on the positives
It can be easy for work to seep into home life but, now more than ever, mastering a work-life balance is key to maintain a healthy lifestyle and fully enjoying the parenting experience with your children.