Tips to help you work from home as a parent during the covid-19 pandemicIdes Ofune 7th April 2020 0 COMMENTS
It’s no news that a large proportion of people are working from home due these unprecedented times of the covid-19 pandemic. Working from home may involve carrying out research like myself, running a business or plain doing your formal work hours while carefully balancing the role of a parent and spouse. While it might sound like a great idea – spending time with the children and working, is not an easy feat. It could be oftentimes depressing as you are reminded of the conflict between the demands of the family and those of work. However, as a parent, once the choice has been made, the tips below will help in managing your schedule effectively:
Establish a routine for your Children
This is the first thing to consider as a parent when working from home. Ensure that the children have an established routine. Routines make work easy as children tend to follow the lead and know what to expect. This routine must be followed consistently before fully establishing your own work routine. This would reduce the frustrations of uncertainty and, you can work freely during the time scheduled for work.
Work around the children’s routine not the other way around
Do not create a work schedule separate from that of your children. When you know their routine, it becomes easy to work during the time they are not present or when they require your attention. For example, you can work when they are sleeping during the day time or at night time, or during the time scheduled for play. Personally, I prefer working when they are asleep as it would require minimal disruptions. If you have toddlers, this may be the only time you have.
Bed time should be early
You should put the children to bed very early so that you can have ample time to complete the work already scheduled for the day. For example, if kids are already asleep by 7:00pm, you should have about two to three hours of uninterrupted work before going to bed yourself.
Dress up like you are going to work
Working from home should not mean working in your pajamas. If you were working outside your home, you would dress up and show up at work. Same should be done when working from home. Prepare every morning like you are going to work but this time it is working at home. This action prepares you psychologically and boosts your morale.
Have a Work Space Station
This must not be an elaborate desk and chair but a simple table and chair in a corner dedicated for work can be termed an office. This office space should not be close to your bed to avoid the temptation of going to sleep when tired. Every time you have work to do, go to that work place station. Psychologically, when you go to that corner, your mind and body tune in to work mode.
Give yourself a break
Finally, give yourself a break either during the weekend or take a day off during work days. As earlier stated, we are living in unprecedented times. So even if you don’t adhere strictly to the schedule you have created, it’s still better than having none at all. If you fall off the schedule, pick yourself up and start again. Keep it at the back of your mind that you are doing your best given the current hand you have been dealt with.
The above tips should give you a guide on your everyday work from home. Were they helpful? Tell me in the comment section.
Remember to stay safe. We will come out of this stronger.
Ides Ofune is currently a PhD Student at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on civil society and accountability in improving the quality of education. She is the founder of Desert Bloom Initiative and editor of Desert Bloom Advisory. Ides is very passionate about education and creating an inclusive society. She speaks French and English fluently. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org