How to Balance Remote Work and Family Matters
Many workers and managers had to adapt their lives to new living conditions. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last year or so, together with the rapid development of tech options, has opened new opportunities for working people.
These changes have brought new options for families, as well. Parents don’t have to go to work every day. They can work from home instead. Many companies completely switched to remote work due to the pandemic.
While parents now have more time for their children, there are new challenges in terms of the balance between their work obligations and family matters.
In this article, you can read more about organizing your life when working from home.
Make a list of weekly priorities
No matter if you have a partner or you live alone, you should sit down together to make a list of weekly and daily tasks you need to perform.
Start with a general weekly plan. Write down all the fixed-term activities that your children have during the week: school, extracurricular activities, training sessions if any, additional music lessons, etc.
When you’ve written all them down, make a schedule for each day of the following week. That way, you’ll be able to see all the time slots that you’ll have during the week.
You can do your work tasks when your kids are in school or in their training sessions and other lessons.
If your kids don’t go to school, you and your partner or relatives/friends should draw a babysitting schedule. Knowing who looks after your kids at what times is crucial if you want to properly plan your work hours.
Assign tasks to all family members
A family will function properly if every member knows their obligations.
In that light, parents who want to stay efficient remote workers while taking good care of their kids should assign tasks to all family members.
For instance, fathers can handle cleaning and errands, while mothers can cook and do the laundry. Parents could switch their roles on a weekly basis, to make sure that nobody gets bored with what they do.
Kids can help parents with some smaller tasks. For instance, you could take them with you when you’re running some errands. Put on some music they like in your car and you’ll spend some quality spend together singing and talking about things they’re interested in.
Also, kids can be helpful when it comes to laundry and dishes. Let them sort out and arrange those items together with you. Logically, you won’t let toddlers play with crockery and cutlery, but laundry is the right thing for them. You can turn it into a game, especially if you want them to learn new words or just have fun.
If there are any elderly people in your household, include them in your activities, as well. Grandparents can make everything easier for working parents. They can look after the kids or take them out so that you can focus on your work tasks.
Reduce chores and errands
When we go to work and spend time out of our homes, it’s a pleasure to prepare a meal at home after a tiring day at work. The whole family gathers and spends some time together, talking about things that happened to them that day.
However, when you already spend almost most of your time at home, you might start feeling anxious and tense about chores. When you add the care about your kids to this formula, things become even more complicated.
For these reasons, parents working from home should reduce the number of chores and errands.
- Don’t cook every day. Order takeaway cooked food or prepare meals at once for the entire week.
- Do the laundry only one day in the week. Dedicating one day to washing and sorting out your laundry will save your time and increase work efficiency.
- Do the shopping once a week. Gather the entire family and ask them what they need from the supermarket. Take the list and go shopping for the entire week. That way, you won’t have to go to the local market every single day.
- Make online payments. Avoid going to the bank or post office. Pay your bills online instead.
By reducing the number of chores and errands, you’ll free a lot of time that you can commit to work or to your family.
Ask for extra help
Parents in general like to have things under control when it comes to their kids’ welfare. Those so-called helicopter parents – flying around their kids like helicopters – think that their kids will prosper more if they know everything what’s happening in their lives. While there are positive effects of helicopter parenting, sometimes we need to loosen things up.
Working remotely with your family behind your back requires toning things down a bit.
For starters, ask for additional help. The grandparents we mentioned above, neighbors, relatives, and friends are all welcome to jump in and take care of your kids from time to time.
So, try to calm down that control freak inside you – every parent has one – and allow those people to help you.
On the one hand, your kids will benefit from spending time with other people.
On the other hand, you’ll manage to handle your business obligations without additional stress.
Me-time is important for every living person, especially if you’re under a higher amount of stress.
However, remote-working parents will have to meticulously manage their time if they want to have that me-time.
This means that procrastination is forbidden. If you create weekly and daily schedules of family obligations and work tasks, stick to them. Don’t waste your time on social media or Internet portals if your schedule requires hard work.
You can relax once your kids fall asleep and you’ve done all your business tasks. Still, even then you shouldn’t procrastinate, but spend that me-time doing something constructive – reading books, learning new things, listening to relaxing music, doing something practical.
Remote work and parenting are not easy to combine, especially if your kids are too little to play alone.
Hopefully, the tips shared above will help you organize all your duties and stay a productive remote worker who knows how to juggle business and family matters.