Are you a working parent? Then, you would know that balancing work with kids requires a specific skill-set of prioritizing that allows you to work productively and creatively.
Of course, working at home seems like the easier alternative with no commute or late nights at the workplace. However, the picture is not always as rosy as it seems. Whether you have one child or more, working at home while your kids are around require you to think and plan accordingly to be the best parent and a productive employee. And the challenge multiples when you have a mobile toddler around who constantly needs your attention.
We share ten tips for remote working at home with a toddler around in this post.
Be an Early Riser
Perhaps, the most significant advantage of working from home is that you can save on the time for commuting. But if you really want to take advantage of this saved time, you need to be an early riser. Let your kids sleep in while you wake up early so you can have some extra quiet time in the morning.
You can plan your day to work on the tasks that require the most of your attention at this time. An added benefit of starting early is that you are more likely to finish earlier in the evening, leaving more time for some fun with the kids.
If you are a remote worker working from home, you need to set up a workspace. If you already haven't done so, now is the time to do that because it is important to have your own workspace where you can work easily and without distractions.
If you have got space in your home and have a spare room, you can convert that room into your home office. However, where space is a constraint, you can create your workstation in the living or dining room and even in the bedroom so you can work without being distracted too much with young children.
Hopefully, when your home office has got walls and doors, your toddler will likely establish the connection between parent at-home vs. parent at-work-while-being-at-home. However, toddlers will be toddlers, and they will still challenge your boundaries, so make sure you are prepared for it.
Invest in the Right Office Equipment
Don't forget to invest in the right office equipment as you establish boundaries. When you set up your specific area for work, you also need office equipment that's ergonomically designed and allows you to work comfortably throughout the day. One of the best investments for your home office could be ergonomically designed office chairs that allow you to sit with the correct posture for long hours.
However, if prolonged sitting is a problem for you and it affects your productivity, it makes a great idea to invest in a height-adjustable standing desk. A height-adjustable standing desk allows you to sit and stand at your convenience as you work at home and manage a toddler alongside. If you are wondering which height-adjustable standing desk to go for your home office, know that Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk Gl makes one of the best choices available in the market.
The easy-to-adjust standing desk is made from sturdy material, durable, and a perfect desk for small spaces. The standing desk features an anti-collision function and a wider top that allows you to work conveniently whether you are standing or sitting.
You can also invest in other ergonomically designed office equipment such as a monitor mount along with an office chair and a standing desk. You can learn more about ergonomically designed office equipment for your home office here.
Nap Time Is Work Time
While working at home with toddlers around is never easy, the best part of working around young children is that they have a predictable routine. If you have got a toddler, your baby will likely need a nap during the day.
Capitalize on this opportunity and use the quiet nap time to get through the more intensive tasks that require your focus and attention. You can also schedule your important meetings or conference calls at this time.
Routine is Key
As you work at home with a toddler around, it is critical for yourself to build some structure into your working day. Prioritize your tasks for work and home in order of importance and make sure you can carry out the most difficult tasks at times when it is calm for you such as early in the morning or when your toddler is taking a nap.
By maintaining some form of structure within your day, you can create a healthy routine for your family so you can better concentrate on your office and home-related tasks simultaneously.
Set Goals for Kids
Keeping toddlers occupied can be a challenge. Of course, you cannot expect them to sit reading a book while you work all day long. However, you can keep them occupied by setting some goals for your child. Get creative and come up with different activities and exercises that can keep your toddler occupied. Moreover, let your little ones get their hands dirty and enjoy some outdoor play if the weather allows. However, as you let your toddlers play outdoor, ensure your outdoor area is free of all hazardous and potentially dangerous items.
As your toddler grows, you can also get them involved in little chores in and around the house, so they also feel more productive as you maximize your home and office productivity.
Consider Shift Work
If it is getting difficult for you to manage your work at home along with a toddler, you can also consider working shift hours by working during hours when your baby is asleep. While it could mean waking up early or sleeping late, it can significantly enhance your productivity when you get some quiet time while your baby is asleep.
If you have got a partner in the house, you can also exchange shifts with them so one person can take care of the baby as the other works and vice versa.
Invest Time in Meal Planning and Prep
As you work from home, don't forget that you and your family will still need three meals a day, and if you spend time in the kitchen preparing meals every day, it can take up a lot of your hours throughout the day. An alternative approach to save yourself a lot of time is planning and preparing meals in advance. You can spend a few hours in the kitchen over the weekend and prepare meals for the week, so you have one less thing to worry about during the weekdays.
Make the Most of Technology
The rise of technology is precisely what has enabled remote working, and if you are a remote worker working from home, you need to make the most of the technology.
Rely on collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, and project-management software like Trello, as they make it easier for you to get work done at home, especially when you have to take care of a toddler alongside.
Know When to Switch Off
At times working from home feels like you are working 24/7 because actually, that's the case. You are working for your office, and when you are completing your household chores which give you a feeling of constantly being at work, which is why it’s crucial to know when to switch off.
As you work from home, you need to master the art of maintaining a work-life balance, and it's essential to set a time when you can confidently say you are finished working for the day. While it may require some self-discipline and expectation for yourself and your team, it may also require you to be easy on yourself and ask for help. It might mean asking for family members' support or hiring someone to help with childcare as you work from home.
Working from home brings several virtues, but alongside, it also brings many challenges, especially when you have a toddler at home. Fortunately, there are ways you can manage your work and toddler simultaneously without compromising on your sanity. Try to use the tips mentioned above to make the most of your time at home while working and taking care of a toddler. And if things get too hard to handle, try to take some time off if you can and focus on taking care of yourself so you can resume work with renewed energy.