How to work from home with kids. Due to recent events and the surge of people working remotely, this has become a hot topic indeed. So, how is it done? What can we veterans share with newcomers so they can manage the chaos of it all? Learning how to work from home with kids will take some practice, but there are some things you can do to get a handle on the situation.
Below you will find some helpful tips—from one work-from-home parent to another—along with useful resources that will expand on these ideas further. You have quite the challenge ahead of you, but you can do this!
Tip #1: Organize Your Home Office.
I’m going to throw an old adage at you: time is money. If you want to make money, then you have to be productive. So, if you want to learn how to work from home with kids, becoming more productive is a great place to start. To that end, getting organized is critical. Too much chaos leads to wasted time and energy, lost focus, decreased productivity—and you guessed it—money lost.
How can you become better organized so that you can improve your focus and productivity? Good question. For starters, you need to organize your home office. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Create a designated working area but remain moveable. Laptops are great for working parents!
- Keep your working space as clean as possible so you can find what you need.
- Put up a dry erase board or cork board for posting important reminders and information.
How to Work from Home with Kids: Resources for Getting Organized
For more details about creating your perfect home office, you can visit this article by HGTV. If you want help organizing your desk—I could use some tips there myself—then check out this article by Good Housekeeping.
Tip #2: Foster Good Communication with Your Clients.
You might find communication with your clients and team challenging, especially if you are not used to working remotely. You’ve probably seen some of those clips of video chats gone awry, and as entertaining as this is, it’s less humorous when you’re the one botching an important call.
Whether you want to communicate via email, video chat, or through an online task management system, keeping up with the demands of your clients while working effectively with your team is a must. Whether you’re an independent contractor or a remotely working employee, here are some things you can do:
- Setup an email that is only for work-related emails.
- Ask your clients or employers how they prefer to communicate and find a solution that works for everyone.
- Let your clients or employers know your schedule including your daily working hours, so they will know when to best contact you.
How to Work from Home with Kids: Resources for Team Communication
Communication is key, but every need is different. If you could use some help improving communication with your clients and team, visit this article by U.S. News. For great software solutions, take a look at this article by Finances Online.
Tip #3: Communicate with Your Kids and Establish Consistency.
Having your important conversations and working hours invaded by children is one of the biggest challenges for remotely working parents. So, if you want to know how to work form home with kids, this topic cannot be stressed enough.
To begin with, communicate with your children. If they are old enough to understand that you’re working from home and how important it is that they respect your workspace and work time, then things will be much simpler for you. However, if you have young children, don’t lose hope. You can:
- Post a schedule for your children so they know what to expect.
- Set clear and consistent boundaries around their desired behavior and respecting your work time.
How to Work from Home with Kids: Resources for Parent-Child Communication
If you want to create a visual schedule that your kids will love, visit this article by Good Housekeeping. If setting boundaries as a working parent is a challenge for you, then you might find this article helpful.
Tip #4: Keep the Kids Entertained!
One of the best ways to get some distraction-free work time in each day is to provide your children with activities that they can do independently and safely. Of course, all children need supervision. Never neglect that. However, even small children can play on their own for small spurts during the day, and every minute adds up when you work from home.
How to Work from Home with Kids: Resources for Keeping Kids Busy
I created a list of 10 Indoor Activities that Keep Kids Busy When Working from Home. Maybe you will find this useful! Another great resource is this article by Very Well Family.
Tip #5: Meal Planning Saves Time and Money.
When trying to figure out how to work from home with kids, meal planning can be difficult. If you’re like many—including myself—ordering take out becomes all too regular. This can get expensive fast, which can defeat the purpose of you working from home in the first place.
The solution? Meal planning. Not only will your family appreciate home cooked meals, you will save money and you will feel better too. The needs of each home are different, but there are some fundamental aspects of meal planning that are similar across the board:
- Create a monthly or weekly menu; include all three meals or just dinner.
- Keep an on-going shopping list that can be easily updated as items run out.
- Choose meals that are simple to prepare or that can be made ahead of time.
How to Work from Home with Kids: Resources for Meal Planning
Junk food makes you feel, well, junky. Good nutrition will improve your focus and productivity, and your family will appreciate it too. It’s worth it, and not so challenging if you plan things out wisely. For some help with meal planning, take a look at this article by The Spruce. If you want some easy meal ideas, visit this article by Taste of Home.
Bonus Tip: Connect with Other Working Parents.
Isolation is not good for anyone, so for the final tip I want to encourage you to connect with people as much as you can, especially other working parents. Learning how to work from home with kids is challenging, but you are not alone. There are many people out there—including those at WFH Jobs— who are happy to help with supportive articles, videos, and more. Find resources that work for you and don’t give up!