Working from home is challenging when it comes to normal circumstances. Doing it in the current context of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its evolution, with children at home (closed!) and having no prospects of relief in the confinement restrictions, is beyond challenging.
We’ll give you a few tips on how to do it!
Communication is Key!
Effective communication with a remote work team has always been one of the biggest challenges in the transition to office culture.
Remote work depends on communication. As much as one of its premises is autonomy, it is essential to preserve transparent and functional communication. This type of communication shows to everyone that they are supported and that they have not been forgotten. This is especially true when we’re talking about your clients.
You should warn your co-workers, bosses, and clients that you are working with children at home. Inform them that they might interfere with some of your meetings even during your working hours. So, try to be as transparent as possible so that you can coordinate all your tasks with the fact that you have to take care of your children.
Define the days of the week and times, calls or video conferences will take place and define how everyone could talk to find the solutions you need for your company’s problems.
You can even go for a cloud-based business phone system to make smarter calls, so you can focus on growing your business instead.
Scheduling is the Second Key!
Virtual agendas are the best way to monitor the development of projects and compliance with deadlines. These agendas are essential during working remotely. It can include complementary fields such as notes, reminders, and alarm programming.
We’ve found the perfect tool for you! MeetFox has made virtual meetings easier than ever. With MeetFox you can schedule your meetings with just one click and have 1:1 online or in-person meetings.
To avoid domestic and personal distractions, it is important to have a schedule, a clear agenda of what and when you must do during the day. Your manager can show scheduled times while working remotely, or you can be free to set your schedule. In both cases, try your hardest to abide by the proposed agenda. This will help you stay focused on your tasks and get the best out of your home office.
Find out at What Hours You Work Best
Having this kind of awareness can be very useful for remote work because by detecting the time of day when you are most productive, you can use this time smartly.
This means that the hours of greatest productivity should be used for the most complex tasks that require your deepest attention. This way, anything that is more mechanical can be done when you have the lowest energy levels. Besides, by knowing the times when you work best, it is also easier to create a routine.
Tools that can be used when you have kids
Complementing MeetFox in a challenging environment like the confinement at home with younger kids, some tools can help you cope with this situation.
- A collaboration tool: You should organize your home environment during office hours, almost like an office. Kids need to understand that times differ from their once thought of mom or dad being home as pure family time, now home is where parents are sometimes working, and playtime or outings must wait for a scheduled time. Put on a schedule and teach them to follow the schedule.
- Cam Monitor + SmartWatch + IP Cam: This combination allows you to check on the kids right from your smartwatch!
- Wireless headphones with noise isolation: They block the “normal” noise when the kids play but if there’s a loud noise like screaming, you can still hear them.
- Power off computer tool: Give your kids the benefits of a balanced work-family environment. Force yourself to finish your work in time to give your kids the attention they deserve. Install and set up a tool in your computer that goes into sleep mode at a scheduled time and doesn’t tempt you to turn it back on, but waits until the next morning.
Take a Break from Time to Time
As a responsible professional, you want to be sure that you will fulfill all your responsibilities during your remote working day. Often this commitment comes not only from the dedication to the work itself, but to ensure that the remote benefit is not at risk of being canceled. No matter what the reason is, you need to keep in mind that even when working remotely you need to take strategic breaks. Taking a short break of 5 to 10 minutes to go for a coffee, going to the bathroom. Also, taking a short walk helps blood flow to the brain, which in turn increases your productivity.
Don’t feel guilty about taking short breaks during the home office hours. When you are working in a physical space of the company you work for, you probably take some small scheduled breaks. Also, you might spend a few minutes talking to your co-workers. If you find it difficult to remember breaks during the home office, put reminders on your cell phone or computer to remind you to take one.
Above all, don’t be tempted to skip the lunch break! Just because you’re working from home and you don’t have a canteen or a restaurant nearby, that doesn’t mean that you can skip one of the most important meals of the day. Studies show that it can be extremely unhealthy for you in the long run if you skip your lunch break. As the study shows, “(…) once employees surrender their lunch breaks, it leads to a mindset in which all of their free time is now up for grabs.”
Get Some Help If You Need To
Depending on your situation, alternative childcare may be the best way to ease your workload. Get in touch with trusted neighbors or family members who have already been in contact with the family in the past few days. See if someone is available to help you at home or take care of the children. Keep communication clear, house clean, and control any possible symptoms.
Communicate frankly with your partner to ensure that household responsibilities are shared evenly. This way, both can successfully complete all daily work tasks. You can start by creating separate work zones or working on alternate shifts. This will be the most practical solution so that someone is always on the lookout for your children. Employers must understand the flexibility that these times demand.
Take Care of Yourself
When working from home, you will naturally perform less physical activities. You will not have to go down the stairs to the office and then walk a few meters to have lunch at the restaurant, for example.
Some physical activity is necessary for anyone, but for those who work remotely, it is even more important. Besides helping to keep your body healthy, it can be a moment of leisure and provide you peace of mind.
Use Sworkit Kids to do some fun exercises with your kids. This app generates a random exercise session without the use of any equipment. Moreover, the app is perfect for children aged 5 to 14 years. The time for each training can be configured to suit all your needs. Here is a guide to help you teach your kids while working from home.
Complementing exercise, it is also important not to neglect food. We are often immersed in the routine of work and end up eating faster or eating ready-made and frozen things, which can be bad for your health.