Remote Work for Parents – Surviving in a Home Office With Your Kids
Author: Paul Moronfola
As a remote worker and a parent, working remotely can be a challenging task when you have kids. Kids need constant attention depending on their ages, characters, behavior, etc., and being stuck with them at home can result in improper time management, lack of productivity, lack of focus, tiredness, etc
Many parents would say that remote work cannot work with kids around. As a result, they sometimes offer to either avoid having kids or if they already have, send them to a boarding school or their grandparents. However, with a strategic plan, it is possible to work remotely with your kids around without a drop in productivity. This article talks about several tips and hacks that you can use to create a plan.
Create a Dedicated Space
An important tip that can assure you work remotely even with kids is creating a dedicated space for you and the kid. The size and sophistication of the created dedicated spaces will depend on the size of your home. Nevertheless, you should ensure you create something comfortable for yourself and your kid.
You do not need to opt for a separate room for both. Opting for a separate room will grant you peace and quietness. However, you might need to leave your workstation to check on your kids which will affect your monitoring of them. You can opt for a place that contains the necessary remote working tools such as:
- A small table or desk
- A comfortable chair
- Ergonomic footrest
- Computer and electronics
- File and stationery organizer
- Noise-canceling headphones
- A board
- Baby monitor
You can then transform part of your dedicated office space into a kid’s playground. This can contain books, illustrations, toys, games, and other things that can take away their focus and attention from you. With their playground beside you, you can easily keep an eye on them while they learn, read books, or do homework.
Schedule Your Work
According to Cal Newport, remote work can be deep or shallow, which you can implement into creating a strategic plan. On the one hand, deep work requires intense concentration and should be scheduled for when the kids are not around when they are resting, or highly preoccupied. On the other hand, you do shallow work such as reading emails or replying to a message when your kids are around.
Rest in your Free Time
Although you can use your free time to run some deep work, if necessary, you should rest. Overworking yourself, can lead to several health issues, impede your productivity, and reduce the quality of work you deliver.
Rest by either sleeping or taking a nap to feel refreshed and relaxed. In contrast, you can take a walk to enjoy the fresh air. You can also take a walk with your kids. This will allow them to burn some energy and increase their tendency to sleep when they return home.
Remote work is plagued by communication so that you can stay updated or receive instructions. You can incorporate your kids into planning a meeting by planning for such meeting meetings to occur when your kids are not around. However, if they will be around, ensure that they are busy or asleep.
Several remote working tools can help you maintain productivity and monitor your kids. Common examples include:
- Virtual Desktop is a type of virtual computing that delivers cloud-based desktop to remote work anywhere, at any time.
- Time Tracking Software such as Harvest can help measure the number of hours you spend on each task. As a result, you can analyze and understand how to prioritize and organize your work.
- Task Management Apps such as Notion and Trello help you to structure your work so that you can efficiently go about them. They also improve collaboration with other members if you are working in a team.
- Apps Blocking Distracting Websites will help reduce distraction from social media and other sources which can lead to low productivity.
- Music Apps can stimulate creativity. As a result, you can create a playlist that sets you in the right mood for work. This is a subjective approach as some people cannot focus when playing music.
- Baby Tech such as safety gates and baby monitors can allow you to ensure your kid’s safety and monitor the kids while you work.
Swap Roles With Your Partner
Raising a child is the responsibility of both parents, and you can swap the parenting role with your partner while you work. For example, you can schedule hours when one person works and the other takes care of the kids.
Engage Kids in Your Work
Remote working allows you to keep an eye on your kids, however, you can ensure they do not distract you by engaging them in small tasks. This is an important tip for parents with kids that are old enough to process things independently (i.e., between the age of 5-10 years). While helping you achieve your task, they can also improve their creativity and feel appreciated and accountable, while developing their management skills.
Organize Entertainment Time for Kids
For kids that cannot help you with work, you can create entertainment time for them. There are several ways to achieve that, examples include:
- Allowing them to watch educational cartoons, or play video games. Although parents can allow their children to watch anything, you should ensure their screen time provide them with only valuable content that aids their education.
- Introduce your kids to children’s pieces of literature to stimulate their passion. This can include illustrations, short stories, etc.
- Board games such as chess and scrabble can be the perfect game for kids if you care about their creativity and thinkability. Aside from that they bring a lot of laughter while educating them. You can also allow them to play team-building games to improve their team-building and problem-solving skills
- Playing an instrument can be a viable option when you have noise canceling device
- Lego and other building activities can also be the right choice for kids that enjoy experimenting and manual activities. Also, you can introduce them to puzzles, story writing, DIY activities, etc. These activities will allow them to learn, discover new things, and enhance several skills.
Being a parent does not mean you have to give up your remote work. With a strategic plan, you can organize your time and improve productivity, while monitoring your kids. Undoubtedly, this will be challenging, however, it is also rewarding. Are you a parent working at home? Above are several tips you can implement on handling the issue. Good luck.
How V2 Cloud Can Help With Remote Work Parents?
V2 Cloud securely host remote workers’ cloud computers, so they are always optimal and accessible. Everything is automatically backed-up every day, and you have full admin control. You can recover any data or file just in case your kid breaks hardware resources. V2 Cloud WorkSpaces features a multi-user windows operating system with Microsoft Office and all your business applications that you, remote work parents can access from any computer, phone or tablet anywhere around the globe.